Important Facts Regarding Alimony in Michigan

Troubled marriages often end in divorce. There are many couples who may be in dysfunctional relationships and want a way out. This is as true in Michigan as it is in many other parts of the world. And when a marriage is dissolved, all marital matters must be legally resolved. One such issue is that of alimony or spousal support, which is especially significant in cases where one person in the marriage is financially dependent on the other. In Michigan, the courts consider several factors in deciding to grant alimony to a divorced individual.

At the outset, one must understand that alimony is not a part of the property settlement stage of a divorce and that the objective of alimony is to obtain a balance between the earnings and needs of the parties involved in the divorce proceedings.

Whether or not you will receive alimony in Michigan as part of your divorce settlement depends on a number of factors. You can expect a judge to consider:

  • The past relationships and behavior of both you and your spouse. Instances of infidelity or substance abuse will undermine an individual's plea for alimony, regardless of the fact that Michigan is a no fault divorce state.
  • The length of the marriage. People in long term marriages have a better chance of winning an alimony settlement.
  • The ability of each spouse to be self-supportive. If one party does not possess marketable skills, is in poor health, or their standard of living is expected to decrease significantly as a result of the divorce, the other spouse may be required to pay alimony.
  • The age of both spouses. The court acknowledges the difficulty of re-entering the workforce as people get older.
  • The financial capability of a spouse to pay alimony. However, the court does take into consideration a person's ability to earn, not just their current paycheck. Neither spouse can deliberately reduce their income in order to avoid paying alimony.

As stated earlier, the amount of alimony paid depends upon general principles of equity. There should be a balance between the amount needed and the amount that the person paying the alimony can afford.

The length of time for which an individual is required to provide alimony depends on the duration of the marriage, the contribution of each party in building up the marital assets, their age, health, and earning abilities, issues of remarriage are also factored in.

Alimony proceedings can be the most acrimonious and nasty part of a divorce. If you think that your divorce is likely to involve a petition for alimony, it really is in your best interest to hire an excellent Michigan alimony attorney to work for you. Doing so will ensure that you are either compensated correctly for your years in the marriage, or on the flip side, not required to pay alimony beyond your means. If you have an excellent family lawyer who knows divorce law and in particular, the alimony code of Michigan inside out, you will feel a lot less stress knowing someone is on your side and shouldering a significant amount of your burden.