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How long does an award of spousal support last?

| Jun 21, 2021 | Property division |

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is an important part of many Michigan divorces. It is not an element of all divorces, though, as in some cases the parties to a marriage may both be self-supporting when their relationship ends. Spousal support becomes relevant when one party to a divorce will be financially disadvantaged by the end of their marriage.

Awards of spousal support can vary greatly between divorce proceedings. The financial standing of the parties will dictate if an award of spousal support is short or long term. Readers are reminded that this post provides information and not legal advice. They can always speak with their trusted divorce lawyers about how their individual spousal support matters may resolve.

What matters during a spousal support proceeding?

As mentioned, spousal support determinations are based on factors related to the parties to a divorce. If both parties are high income earners, then spousal support may not be necessary. If one of the parties earns an income while the other is unemployed, the financially disadvantaged party may be entitled to spousal support.

Spousal support can last for different lengths of time. If a party is unemployed due to age or diminished health, they may receive a long-term or permanent award of spousal support. If they can return to the workforce after receiving education or training, they may be entitled to a smaller award to help them get back into a career.

How does a party ask for spousal support?

A party can petition their divorce court for spousal support. It will be evaluated and negotiated between the parties. If a judge awards spousal support, it may included in the final divorce decree or order and given enforcement provisions to ensure the paying spouse stays current on their obligation. A divorcing party’s attorney can help them fight for the financial support they need when their marriage comes it its end through divorce.