Supporting Spouses After Marriage: Spousal Support in Michigan

The Kronzek Firm

Everyone has heard of child support. Did Jim send his child support payments this month? Rebecca had hers automatically withdrawn from her pay. 

Kids need financial support to continue growing, learning, and playing. From Birmingham to Novi to Bloomfield to Waterford, this is true across the board. But what about spouses? 

Spousal Support Obligations 

Spousal support (also known as palimony or alimony) is sometimes ordered by the court when the financial situations of divorcing parties are different. For example, if Ali’s wife made a lot more money than him, she may be mandated to pay him spousal support. 

If Sam’s ex would be barely living above the poverty line, then she may benefit from spousal support payments. 

Unlike for child support, spousal support is not as common. Child support is mandatory under Michigan law, whereas spousal support is discretionary. The requesting party must ask for it, and it isn’t guaranteed. Also, there is no set or mandated formula to determine spousal support in Michigan. It is based on a case-by-case situation. While we have programs to make an educated guess as to the amount and duration of appropriate support, it is ultimately up to the judge’s discretion. 

Factors Increasing Chances That Judge Will Order Spousal Support

Because spousal support is not mandatory, there are a lot of factors that a judge may consider when deciding whether to order spousal support. 

Fairness is the most important thing! Judges want divorces to be fair.  There is no limit to things a judge could consider. A judge typically first considers income disparity between the parties. Then, a judge will engage in a case-by-case analysis to consider the duration and amount of spousal support in Michigan. A judge will first will consider some other factors such as: 

  1. The financial needs of the former couple
  2. How old the divorcees are 
  3. Each person’s relative health
  4. Whether one spouse can’t work
  5. The living situation of both former spouses
  6. The divorcees’ overall contribution to the marriage
  7. The length of the marriage 

These factors are not listed by importance. Also, a judge can evaluate factors other than those listed above. A reputable family law attorney can help you to understand this complicated process.

The Kronzek Firm’s attorneys can help you answer your spousal-support questions!

Our skilled family law team is here to help you. If you are searching for expert legal advice, you’ve come to the right place! To set up your free consultation today, call 248-479-6200!

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