Important Factors in Spousal Support in Michigan Divorce

Important Factors in Spousal Support in Michigan Divorce

Important Factors in Spousal Support in Michigan Divorce

Posted in Divorce, Family Law
by Van Den Heuvel Law Office

When a couple in Michigan decides to get a divorce, in many cases one spouse will have to pay spousal support to the other. Many divorcing couples wonder how spousal support will be determined and what factors the courts will weigh in making their decision. There are so many factors that have to be considered and no two situations are exactly the same. Because every divorce is different Michigan law does not have a one-size-fits-all solution for every situation. There is not one single formula or rule for the courts to follow when they determine how much and for how long spousal support will be paid.

In fact, in one case in 2012, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that a lower court had made an error when it used a simple math formula to determine how much the former husband should pay the former wife in spousal support. The court ruled that every case should be handled on an individual basis in each trial court, with the judge weighing several different factors in order to reach his or her decision. So what are the factors that need to be considered so that both parties are treated fairly in a spousal support ruling?

Some of the important things judges must take into consideration include how much each party actually needs and what resources each of them currently has independent of each other. The courts also need to consider each party’s ability to earn a living and their other future prospects. It’s also important to take into consideration whether or not the paying spouse even has enough income to pay the support. In order to make some of these decisions, judges may examine some or all of the following factors:

  • Past relations and conduct of the parties
  • Length of the marriage
  • Ability of the parties to work
  • Source of and 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

These are all important factors that can play a role in whether or not a judge will order one spouse to pay spousal support to the other, and how much that payment will be. At the Van Den Heuvel Law Office, we know that spousal support can be one of the toughest issues divorcing couples go through. We are prepared to help you in these situations and we’ll fight for the best results possible, no matter which side of the argument you’re on. Anyone in this situation should strongly consider speaking with a Grand Rapids divorce attorney.



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