Spousal support or more commonly referred to, as “alimony” in Michigan is a virtual labyrinth. Unfortunately there is no clear-cut formula by which you or even a judge can determine the specific dollar amount to be awarded. But instead, just to make things a bit more complicated, the court goes through a series of inquiries with each party to put the puzzle pieces together.
If you are thinking of divorcing your spouse or in the process of a divorce, spousal support payments will be high on your list of questions. Talking to your Downriver Lawyer should be second on your list.
So how can you prepare yourself for what you will face in spousal support? Will you owe support or be awarded support?
Don’t assume that as a husband you will be required to pay and as the wife you will simply receive. While it is commonplace that the husband winds up paying a percentage of his income to his wife, depending on who the bread winner is, or who has a higher level of assets and higher income, the table can be turned. Did you know that Madonna, Halle Berry, Janet Jackson and Brittany Spears pay spousal support to their ex-spouses? And not to forget Elizabeth Taylor, who surprisingly did not go bankrupt based on the number of spousal supports she is required to pay to her lengthy list of ex-husbands.
Another myth is that you are required to be married for a specified period of time in order to receive spousal support in Michigan. That is also untrue.
So what will the Judge use to determine the exact dollar amount? Keep in mind that spousal support is determined on a case-by-case basis. Michigan courts weigh the following factors in determining spousal support/alimony:
- Age of the parties
- Length of the marriage
- The parties’ ability to work and type of work
- History of past conduct within the relationship
- Amount and source of the asset being awarded
Simple right? Not necessarily. At times, both parties work and contribute evenly within the relationship. The source of income and assets are on an equal footing. So will this determine the formula of such payment throughout the divorce? No.
The Court system determines whether there is sufficient estate or income suitable for maintenance of either parties involved or their children, before they delve in to the calculations necessary to determine the monetary amount due. Once the amount is determine, the Court also determines how the income will be paid, i.e. in one gross lump amount or over a period of time.
So, you wonder, what if circumstances change, as they always do in life. What if I’m unable to continue to pay spousal support, or what if my spouse is unable to comply with the order due to future changed circumstances.
That is where the two levels of spousal support come into play: modifiable vs. non-modifiable.
A consultation with a experienced family attorney in the field of divorce and spousal support will save you not only significant time in this query but money. That is where Downriver Lawyer comes into the picture.
At Downriver Lawyer we are here to determine what you are entitled to, or what you will have to pay out of pocket. We will get you prepared!
Our seasoned attorneys will explain to you the difference between modifiable and non-modifiable spousal support. Typically most parties who agree to spousal support tend to agree to a non-modifiable agreement which will remain in force throughout the divorce. This is a plus for those who are at a point in their lives where change in life-style or work is unlikely. This allows parties to know what to expect in the future. Once agreed upon, no changed circumstance will allow a modification of this agreement.
However, after assessing your living situation and the likelihood of future change in your life, we at Downriver Lawyer offer the option of a modifiable agreement, wherein the agreement can always be modified subsequent to a life change. This allows for changes to be made in payments given a loss of a job or similar circumstance.
Which option is right for you? Will you be the payee or the payer? And what other factors exist in your lifestyle that should be considered? Don’t leave these question up to your spouse or the court to determine. Protect yourself in learning the factors required in making a determination for spousal support. A consultation with your our Downriver Lawyer in Michigan will not only educate you on your rights before the court, but also will provide you with the most feasible and constructive option for your future. Call us today for more information and for a consultation. You can reach us at 734-619-1237 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org . Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Downriver-Lawyer/668014289938643?ref=hl and Twitter: https://twitter.com/DownriverLawyer.