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Understanding spousal support awards in Michigan

| Dec 16, 2020 | Property division |

Spousal support, or alimony, can be a challenging part of many divorces. Because one spouse may want spousal support, and the other spouse may oppose a spousal support award, it is a helpful issue for divorcing couples to understand as they enter their divorce.

Factors used to determine spousal support

Several factors are considered in Michigan to help determine spousal support including:

  • Past relations and the conduct of the parties;
  • The length of the marriage;
  • The ability of each party to work;
  • Source and amount of property awarded to the parties in the property division settlement;
  • The ages of each of the parties;
  • The ability of each of the parties to pay spousal support;
  • The current situation and circumstances of each of the parties;
  • The needs of each of the parties;
  • The health of each of the parties; and
  • The prior standard of living enjoyed during the marriage.

These factors are used to determine if there is a need for spousal support. The family law court will also need to determine how much and how long any spousal support award granted will be for.

Either of the spousal can make a request for spousal support once the divorcing couple has made the decision to divorce. Because spousal support is a payment made by one former spouse to the other former spouse, it may be an objectionable part of the divorce process which is why it is useful to be familiar with the factors used to help guide spousal support decisions.