How the amount and duration of spousal support is decided

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2020 | Spousal Support |

Each marriage in Michigan is unique. Even marriages that on the surface may seem similar to others, the inner workings of the marriage depend on the unique circumstances of the spouses involved in the marriage. Because each marriage is unique, if the couple ends up going divorce that will be unique as well. The issues that couples must resolve in a divorce may be similar, but how each issue is resolved will not be the same.

Couples going through a divorce will need to make decisions regarding their children such as custody, parenting time and child support. They also need to make decisions about their property and assets and decide which spouse will receive which property. They will need to make decisions about alimony or spousal support as well. None of these decisions are easy, but spousal support may be one of the more difficult ones to make as most people do not want to keep paying their ex-spouse money after they are no longer together.

Another factor that can make these decisions difficult is that there are no guidelines like there are for child support. Spousal support decisions are based on analyzing a number of factors to determine the amount and duration of a spousal maintenance award or whether either spouse should receive spousal support at all.

The factors that are used include, but are not limited to:

  • How long the couple was married
  • Each spouse’s ability to work and earning capacity
  • How age and health each spouse is and how long they will be able to work
  • The amount of property each spouse received from the marriage
  • The paying spouse’s ability to pay spousal support
  • The standard of living they enjoyed during the marriage
  • The monthly financial obligations of the spouses

As one can see, spousal support decisions in Michigan are very fact-specific and can be very complicated. How these factors are analyzed will vary greatly and consulting with an experienced attorney could be helpful.