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Spousal Support

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Spousal Support

Grand Rapids Spousal Support Attorneys

At the Van Den Heuvel Law Office, we have the tools required to assist you with obtaining spousal support and a fair and equitable division of property in your divorce. The experience as a family law attorney in representing residents of Grand Rapids, MI, and the surrounding areas significantly increases your chances of receiving justice in your divorce.

What is Spousal Support?

Spousal support, also referred to as alimony, is the payment of money from one spouse to the other spouse for a limited or fixed amount of time. It is a separate determination from child support. Michigan judges have great discretion when deciding to grant spousal support. Spousal support is often viewed as compensation for one party who is hurt by the divorce because that spouse gave up the ability to further him- or herself during the marriage. Maintenance payments provide the disadvantaged spouse the opportunity to improve his or her financial independence through job education and training. It also protects the spouse’s standard of living and attempts to prevent financial ruin.

What Factors are Considered in Determining Spousal Support in Michigan?

We know that you and the children in your custodial care will likely require financial support after a divorce. The goal of spousal support is to assess the income and needs of both spouses to ensure that the divorce does not impoverish either party. Michigan courts do not follow a “spousal support calculator,” so they may grant an order requiring one spouse to pay maintenance to the other party for a temporary or indefinite period of time after considering the following factors:

  • Past relations and conduct of the parties
  • Length of the marriage
  • Ability of the parties to work
  • Source of an amount of property awarded to the parties
  • Age of the parties
  • Ability of the parties to pay alimony
  • Present situation of the parties
  • Needs of the parties
  • Health of the parties
  • Prior standard of living of the parties and whether either is responsible for the support of others
  • General principles of equity

When spouses agree to a divorce settlement, the agreement may list circumstances that would cause spousal support to end, including:

  • Remarriage (or sometimes cohabitation) of the person being supported
  • Death of either spouse
  • A specific event, like the supported spouse earning a degree or certificate that should lead to gainful employment

Termination of support does not automatically cease in the event of remarriage or cohabitation, even if this is not indicated in the divorce settlement agreement. A judge might terminate support if the paying spouse can show a significant change in ability to pay. Support will end if the paying spouse can show that the other spouse engaged in fraud or duress in the process of negotiating the settlement.

What if a Spouse Fails to Pay Spousal Support?

If your ex-spouse is failing to make the court-ordered spousal support payments, an experienced divorce attorney can file a motion asking the court to order your ex-spouse to show cause why he or she should not be held in contempt of court for failing to pay spousal support.

Schedule Your Initial Consultation With Grand Rapids, MI Family Lawyers

The legal team at the Van Den Heuvel Law Office is available for an initial consultation and appointments. Contact us at 616-698-0000 or online to schedule your initial consultation. We are also available on Skype by appointment.

Contact a Knowledgeable Grand Rapids Attorney

For An Initial Consultation

To talk with our attorney about your legal concerns, contact the Van Den Heuvel Law Office by calling 616-698-0000. You may also complete our online contact form. After-hours consultations are available by appointment. We are also available on Skype by appointment.

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