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What happens to an unemployed spouse during divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2020 | family law |

You and your spouse may no longer see eye to eye, and other events may have made it clear that divorce is the only way to move forward. With much of the process unknown, you are not sure how things will end up for you, especially because you left your profession years ago to care for your children. 

Your spouse was the moneymaker, so it made sense for you to stay home and care for the kids. Now on the precipice of divorce, however, one of your biggest concerns is how you will make it without an income. Explore how the court determines the fate of the stay-at-home parent. 

What is the formula for alimony? 

Under Michigan law, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to spousal support. Child support follows a state-based formula to help couples calculate how much one spouse will pay to the other. This does not hold true for alimony. When you decide to move forward with requesting maintenance, you must consider that the most favorable way to ensure your needs get met is to settle with your spouse. When this is not possible, however, the judge will decide. 

How will a judge decide? 

When looking at a request for spousal support, judges consider many factors. The length of your marriage and how you and your spouse behaved during the union and separation are two main aspects a judge considers. The longer a marriage, the more likely the court will grant a stay-at-home parent temporary financial support. One of the other factors a judge looks at is how much property each spouse owned before marriage. Sole and separate property before marriage stays with the person after divorce. Thus, if the employed spouse has more significant resources and property, it is likely the judge will grant spousal support. 

Your most favorable bet in caring for yourself during a divorce is to reach an agreement with your former spouse. If this is not possible, having an ally on your side who can advocate your case to a judge will help your effort immensely.