Everyone knows that divorce is expensive. If you are thinking about ending your marriage, or the process has already started, you may be wondering how you are going to support yourself. In Michigan, you can ask your spouse or the court for spousal support, also known as alimony, if you think the divorce will leave you in financial trouble. If your divorce requires you to go to court, a judge will make the final decision. When making it, the court will consider ten important factors. These are listed below.
If one spouse’s wrongdoings contributed to the divorce, a judge might award spousal support to compensate for it. This usually happens when one spouse has spent marital funds on an extramarital affair, an addiction, or something else that did not benefit the marriage.
If either spouse is not working at the time of the divorce, they will most likely need support. On the other hand, if both spouses have well-paying jobs, neither may be awarded spousal support.
The distribution of marital property will also impact alimony decisions. For example, if one spouse was awarded more in marital property than their spouse, it can make it more difficult to receive spousal support, as well.
In the event that one spouse has a medical issue that will require ongoing care, a judge may award them spousal support so they can continue receiving it. Likewise, if one spouse is older in age and going back to work would be difficult, a judge will also consider that when making alimony decisions.
Judges will only award spousal support when there is a real need for it. To determine if that is the case, the court will closely examine each spouse’s financial situation.
Everyone has different financial needs, and what may apply to one person may not apply to another. A judge will consider the needs of each party, such as if one party is still attending school or taking care of an older parent.
The standard of living the couple enjoyed during the marriage will also be considered. If one spouse’s quality of living would be severely impacted, a judge may award them alimony to continue that same standard.
Sometimes, the contributions the spouses make to the marital estate are not equitable. If one spouse contributed significantly more, a judge may not order them to also pay support or may reduce the amount of support the other party will receive.
It is generally understood that when two adults live together, it is easier for them to support themselves than if they were living alone. As such, if one spouse is already cohabitating with someone, particularly if the relationship is a romantic one, the court will take that into consideration.
Judges can also take any other pertinent factor into consideration when making decisions about alimony. For example, if one spouse is also raising a child from a previous relationship, that would affect their ability to pay spousal support, and so a judge may not award it.
Whether you need to ask for alimony, defend against unfair claims for it, or modify an existing order, our Michigan family lawyers at Van Den Heuvel Law Office can help. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can help.
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