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Spousal Support FAQs

Spousal Support FAQs

A laptop with money and a post-it note that says "Alimony" on top, representing how one can benefit from calling a Grand Rapids family law attorney.Spousal support, also commonly referred to as alimony, is one of the most contentious aspects of any divorce. Spousal support is also highly misunderstood and not awarded in all divorce cases. If you are facing divorce and wish to secure this type of support, or want to defend yourself against unfair obligations, it is important to fully understand all aspects of spousal support. To help, below are a few of the most frequently asked questions regarding alimony, and their answers.

What Types of Spousal Support Does Michigan Allow?

Spousal support refers to financial payments made by one spouse to another during or after a divorce. Michigan recognizes three types of spousal support, including:

  • Short-term spousal support: This type of support allows one spouse to adjust to the change in circumstance divorce brings. Short-term support is intended for the recipient until they can support themselves by continuing their education or training for employment.
  • Long-term spousal support: Marriages that have lasted for ten or more years may require long-term spousal support. Typically, this support is awarded when there is a great earning disparity between the two spouses, or one spouse is unable to work.
  • Alimony in gross: When the division of property has been more favorable to one spouse, this type of spousal support may be awarded to the other. The main benefit of this type of support is that it allows the parties to reach a settlement faster.

What Factors Determine Spousal Support?

Michigan courts take 14 factors into consideration when determining spousal support. These include:

  • The duration of the marriage
  • The age of each spouse
  • The health of each spouse
  • The employability of each spouse
  • The income of each spouse
  • The need for support
  • The standard of living during marriage
  • The contribution of each spouse to the joint estate
  • The past relations and conduct of each spouse
  • Any fault in the breakdown of the marriage
  • The needs of each spouse
  • Property division terms
  • Whether either spouse is living with another person during a romantic relationship
  • General principles of equity

How Much is Spousal Support?

There is no fixed amount or formula for determining the amount of spousal support in Michigan. A judge will consider all 14 factors that determine spousal support and decide on an amount.

What is the Duration of Spousal Support?

Spousal support generally ends when the recipient remarries or cohabits with another person while involved in a romantic relationship with them. However, it is possible to reduce or terminate spousal support when there has been a significant change in circumstances.

Do I Need a Michigan Family Lawyer for Spousal Support Issues?

Yes. Spousal support is one of the most debatable terms of any divorce and a Grand Rapids family lawyer can help you get the most favorable terms. At Van Den Heuvel Law Office, our experienced attorneys can help. Whether you are seeking spousal support or want to defend against paying it, our experienced attorneys are here for you. Call us or contact us online to arrange a meeting with one of our knowledgeable attorneys so we can start reviewing your case.

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