The Laws of Alimony in Michigan
So it’s true that a married couple can divorce and one spouse gets paid ‘free money’ by the other that won’t be spent on behalf of any children? Seriously? You’re talking about money for direct living expenses toward the other spouse?
It’s true. The word for this type of support is “alimony,” sometimes known as spousal support. This is about alimony in MI, folks.
But don’t begin to think that every divorce is the same with alimony awarded in every situation. While a couple splitting up would drastically affect income for both parties (unless one party was the major bread-winner), certain factors need to be taken into consideration when it comes to alimony in Michigan.
The Bases for Alimony in MI
The fact is it’s unfair for one spouse to have to pay for the other in order for that other spouse to live within means! What would the purpose be for divorce if there’s no financial independence, right? When it comes to children, that’s another story; that’s what child support is for.
There are important factors, though, according to the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act – and here they are:
• Physical and Emotional Health, Age, and Financial Well-Being of Both Spouses
• Education and/or Training Needs to Establish Income
• The Standard of Living During the Marriage
• How Long the Spouses Were Married
• If the Spouse Considered to Pay Alimony Can Pay It and Still Pay for Himself/Herself
This Should Tell Anyone Something About Alimony in Michigan
It really is all up in the air – there’s no way to know for sure if any spouse can be awarded alimony.
Child support, however, is easy: the parent without custodial rights, obviously, must pay it. But spousal support isn’t so easy to figure out. There are even more factors not only to help consider whether or not spousal support is necessary, but how much spousal support is necessary, such as….
• How Much Income?
• Children in Home
• Infidelity and Other “Faults”
• Premarital Agreements
Can you imagine just how much work it would be for a family court to make a decision on this? And the decision isn’t simply based on whether or not any given spouse believes that spousal support is needed or not needed.
It’s about being fair. Alimony in MI isn’t governed by spouses who seek spousal support or spouses who try to fight against spousal support.
Common sense does rule here, though, for certain situations: such as the inability to find a job that pays well. Obviously, if a spouse has gone through a divorce and lost a ton of income being married to a major bread-winner, that may be a factor to consider alimony payments for the sorry spouse. Disabilities also matter. And it doesn’t matter how many look at it: sometimes child support isn’t enough to maintain the household. Sometimes alimony is needed to pick up the rest of the expenses.
Many of the other factors are obvious in their validity to determine alimony. However….
Again, Though, There’s No Formula Needed for Spousal Support
Remarkably, the Child and Spousal Support form for Michigan is rather hush-hush about the subject of alimony payments. That’s because amounts aren’t set in stone. There are no hard-rock guidelines for it except for those already mentioned. And each divorce case is different.
So what is a spouse to do about a divorce that affects him/her financially? Present the situation and see what the court thinks. That’s really all that can be done. Yes, alimony is a mystery in the state of Michigan.