Married couples can manage their households in many different ways. In some cases, both spouses choose to work outside the home, while in other households, one spouse works part-time or chooses to be a stay-at-home parent. In any case, if the couple chooses to get a divorce, courts make it a priority to ensure that both spouses are taken care of following the finalization of the divorce.
What is alimony?
When one spouse earns less income than the other spouse, or no income at all, it may difficult, if not impossible, for them to maintain the lifestyle they had while they were married when they are single. For this reason, courts will sometimes award alimony or spousal support to provide financial support to a lesser earning spouse to help them continue to live the lives they are accustomed to living.
Who determines alimony?
The amount of alimony or spousal support awarded to one spouse, if any, can be determined by you and your spouse, with the help of your attorneys, as you negotiate the terms of your divorce agreement. However, if you are unable to come to an agreement, the judge will make a determination based on a number of factors.
What factors will the judge consider when determining alimony?
Michigan family law judges will consider various factors relating to your marriage and each spouse’s contributions to the marriage when determining alimony. Some of these factors may include:
- The length of the marriage
- The standard of living during the marriage and current living arrangements
- Each spouse’s contributions to the household (e.g. raising the kids, maintaining the household, financial contributions)
- Each spouse’s income, ability to work, and earning capacity
- The assets each party is getting in the divorce
- Needs of each spouse
- Age and health of each spouse
Whether you are the spouse seeking alimony or the spouse being requested to pay alimony, a family law attorney can make sure your rights are protected during the divorce.