How is Spousal Support Calculated in Michigan?
Couples filing for divorce in Michigan may wonder what financial obligations may be set in place after the divorce process is complete. Michigan does grant spousal support, also called alimony, in certain instances.
Unlike child support, there is no formula for determining the amount of alimony a spouse will receive. Michigan offers four types of spousal support including the following:
- Temporary spousal support – The most common type of spousal support, temporary support is usually granted while the divorce is pending, especially if one spouse has always paid the mortgage, utility bills, and other household expenses. Temporary support is for spouses who are unable to support themselves during the divorce process.
- Periodic spousal support – The judge awards alimony for a short period of time when granting periodic spousal support. This type of alimony is typically granted in cases where one spouse is able to be self-supporting, but not immediately. For example, a judge might grant periodic support in a case where one parent gave up his or her career to stay at home with a family but is able to return to the workforce.
- Permanent spousal support – Generally granted in cases where couples have been married for a long period of time and one spouse is unable to work due to age, disability, or health; permanent spousal support is not as common as the types of support listed above.
- Lump sum - In cases of a lump-sum spousal support, a spouse receives the award in one payment.
How is spousal support determined in Michigan?
When determining what type of spousal support to award an individual, the judge may consider the couples:
- Age and health;
- Ability to work;
- Financial situation;
- Prior standard of living;
- Past conduct;
- Contributions to the estate; and
- Other types of equity.
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