Few aspects of divorce are more contentious than alimony. While child support payments may be a difficult subject as well, few dispute the need to pay child support. Alimony can be much more difficult. 
 
Unlike with child support, in the state of Michigan there is no specific formula for calculating alimony. It is possible for both partners to independently agree on alimony as part of property division, but if the matter goes to a judge, the mitigating factors are less concrete. According to Michigan Legal Help, permanent spousal support is most likely in long-term marriages. 
 
How is alimony paid? 
 
In Michigan, it is possible to receive alimony in a one-time lump-sum payment, or over a period of time. If you are receiving periodic alimony, the courts may or may not limit it to a certain period of time. For instance, a judge may mandate that one party in a divorce pay pay the other party alimony for a year so that the second party has a chance to find employment. If the second party does not find employment during this time, the alimony payments will stop regardless. 
 
How do I get permanent support? 
 
Judges do not grant permanent alimony very often. Permanent alimony is much more common for a long-term marriage, particularly if one party in the marriage did not work. Essentially, permanent alimony is most common if the receiving party is older than 60, has little work experience or education, and little income. 
 
In the case of permanent spousal support, one party may stop paying when he or she retires from the workforce. In this case, both spouses will likely share in retirement benefits.