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How is alimony decided in the state of Michigan?

If you are like many people considering divorce in Clinton Township, then you have likely given thought to your post-divorce finances. Even if you are employed, you may be concerned about how you will support yourself after your divorce. In order to help you as you transition, or more permanently, the court may order your spouse to pay alimony. According to section 552.13 of the Michigan Revised Statutes, Michigan’s courts may order either spouse to pay a suitable sum in alimony for the maintenance of the other spouse.

Unlike child support, there is no set guideline for determining the amount of alimony awards. Instead, it is left up to the court’s discretion. As such, there are a number of factors that may be taken into consideration when making these decisions, including the following:

  •        The age of both spouses
  •        The duration of the marriage
  •        Each spouse’s ability to support him or herself
  •        A spouse’s ability to make alimony payments

While Michigan is a no fault divorce state, each spouse’s past behavior may be factored in to alimony decisions. This means that instances of infidelity, substance abuse or other issues may destabilize a person’s request for alimony support.

Like award amounts, the length of time that alimony is required is also based on various factors. Often, the duration of the marriage, as well as each spouse’s contribution to acquiring their marital assets, are primary considerations. Additionally, each spouse’s earning abilities and the potential for remarriage in the future may be factors. The age and health of both spouses may also be considerations.

This post has provided a general overview of how the amounts of alimony awards are determined in the state of Michigan. It is important to keep in mind, however, that since there are no set guidelines, each case is unique. Therefore, this post should be taken only as general information, and not considered professional legal advice.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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