Will I receive alimony in my Michigan divorce?
Spousal support, commonly referred to as alimony, can provide a divorcing spouse with much need financial support during the transition to single life. Alimony used to be the norm in most divorces, but in the past decade courts have moved away from awarding spousal support as a matter of routine. Instead, Michigan courts will consider several factors to determine your right to receive spousal support as a part of your divorce.
Who May Receive Spousal Support
Spousal support may be awarded in one of two ways: you and your spouse can agree to spousal support or the court will order it. The court will issue spousal support on a case by case basis. If requested, a Michigan court will decide spousal support as a part of the property and debt division during your divorce. Spousal support is awarded as a means to ensure both parties are taken care of following a divorce. It may be ordered if one spouse’s share of property awarded is not enough to adequately support him or her.
Michigan judges will look to several factors to determine whether an award of spousal support is appropriate, including:
- Length of the marriage: The longer you and your spouse were wed, the more likely a court is to award spousal support. The length of your marriage is particularly important if one spouse does not have a career or job skills.
- The ability of each spouse to support him or herself: If one of the spouses is in poor health or does not possess strong job skills, or if their standard of living will significantly decline with a divorce, the court may award alimony.
- The ability of a spouse to pay alimony: The court will consider the financial ability of the payor spouse to satisfy an alimony award, taking into account ability to earn as well as current income.
These are just a few of the many factors a court will consider in electing to award alimony. Spousal support can be awarded on a temporary or permanent basis. Seeking spousal support is complex and divorcing spouses should consult with a Michigan spousal support attorney for assistance with their case.