When it is obvious to you and your spouse that after the divorce, he or she is not going to be self-supporting for at least a little while, you may want to consider the factors that the Michigan court uses to determine spousal support. If you see that alimony is likely, you may want to examine your circumstances and try to work out a settlement yourselves. If you successfully create a fair agreement, you may not have to trust the decision to a judge who does not truly understand your situation.
MichiganLegalHelp.org explains that your current shared standard of living compared to that of each of you in the future is where you should start your evaluation. In general, the goal is to keep things as even and fair as possible, so it does matter how paying the support would affect your own situation. Your career prospects and your current and future earning potential are a part of this consideration, as well as those of your spouse.
How your marital property is divided will make a difference in whether spousal support is necessary. For example, if your spouse gets the house in the divorce, that may not preclude you from paying alimony to help him or her cover living expenses. On the other hand, assets such as checking or savings accounts may be expected to have a role in the spousal support considerations.
If you have been married for a long time, and your spouse relied on you to be the primary breadwinner for some or all of it, that could be a major factor in whether he or she is able to become self-supporting. The closer a person is to retirement, the more difficult or impractical it may be to seek new job skills and begin a career. Other circumstances unique to your case may affect spousal support, so this general information should not take the place of legal advice.