What are the Grounds for Termination of Michigan alimony?

  • Remarriage: This of itself is insufficient to terminate spousal support, unless it is specifically provided for in the judgment.
  • Cohabitation: This is also insufficient reason to terminate spousal support unless the judgment specifically provides for it.
  • Fraud, Duress, and Mutual Mistake: These are the only grounds for setting aside a consent judgment of support (unilateral mistake, or mistake on the part of only one party, is not enough).
  • Change in Ability to Pay: (example: when the payer retires) This is relevant to determining an increase or decrease in spousal support, but is not the sole criterion. The change of circumstances justifying termination must result in diminished income, not just income from a different source or in a different form.  Further, if the payer intentionally decreases his income to avoid paying support, the court may impute his or her former income to them anyway.
  • Alimony in Gross: Unlike permanent spousal support, is not modifiable except for fraud, mistake, excusable neglect or other grounds for relief from judgment as provided in MCR 2.612(C)
  • Death of Payee:  This termanates support
  • Death of Payer:  This terminates support