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Alimony is awarded based on numerous factors

In a no-fault state like Michigan, neither spouse is required to prove the other did anything wrong to justify a divorce. However, when it comes to alimony, the court may take fault into consideration. Aside from fault, there are other factors a judge will examine to determine how much support, if any, a spouse will get.

First the court will divide the assets equitably, meaning that a fair division will be made that might not necessarily be equal. After assets are divided, the judge will have a better idea of how much each partner has to live on going forward. This would include any individual assets that were not part of the property division, as well as each partner's ability to earn money in the future. The judge will take into account how much the payor can afford without compromising his or her own quality of life.

The point of alimony is to provide funds for a limited period to allow a person time to become financially independent. However, this is not always possible, so sometimes alimony is granted until the paying spouse dies or until the receiving spouse remarries. Permanent alimony may also be granted if the couple has been married a long time or if the receiver is beyond the age of being able to find employment.

The best way to arrive at an agreement that is acceptable to both spouses is for the spouses to make the decisions themselves before the divorce is finalized. However, if this is not possible because of any animosity between them, it is advisable that each spouse consult with an independent lawyer so that their individual rights are protected. In Michigan, alimony is not a given. Working with the right attorney increases a person's chances of being awarded adequate spousal support.

Source:, "What you need to know right now about spousal support -- in the United States and Canada", Nancy Kurn, Accessed on Dec. 3, 2016

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