If you and your spouse are preparing to divorce, your anxieties around money have likely increased. Your spouse may have been your household’s sole breadwinner. Without their income, you may fear for your ability to support yourself or maintain the lifestyle you two established. Yet, depending on your circumstances, you might be eligible for spousal support.

Michigan’s spousal support laws

To receive spousal support in Michigan, you must demonstrate that you need it to make ends meet or keep up your standard of living. Your spouse must demonstrate, too, that they earn enough money to provide it. Couples often work out support agreements on their own. But if you two cannot come to terms, you may end up litigating your dispute in court.

A judge will weigh many factors in determining how much spousal support you qualify for, and how long you will receive it for. These considerations include:

  • The length of your marriage
  • The division of your marital property
  • You and your spouse’s individual conduct during your marriage
  • You and your spouse’s individual financial situations
  • You and your spouse’s contributions to your marriage
  • You and your spouse’s age and health
  • You and your spouse’s marital standard of living
  • Whether you or your spouse support other people

Receiving spousal support payments

On occasion, a judge may order your spouse to pay you a lump sum instead of ongoing spousal support. Lump sums often consist of property instead of money. The value of the property or funds you receive will equal the amount payable in a traditional support arrangement. Usually, though, a judge will rule that either temporary, periodic or permanent spousal support better fits your circumstances. Your spouse may provide you temporary support if you need financial help during your separation. They may then provide you periodic support after your divorce if you need education or job training to become self-sufficient. But your spouse may provide you permanent support depending on your age, your marriage’s length and your ability to work.

Fighting for fair spousal support can be difficult. Yet, by understanding Michigan’s laws, you can know what you’re entitled to. An attorney with family law experience can help you work to achieve an appropriate settlement.