Understand Your Spousal Support Options with Help From a Troy Alimony Lawyer
Unlike child support, there is no formula or calculator in Michigan that tells you whether or not you will receive spousal support, commonly known as “alimony,” or how much you will get or pay. Alimony is decided on a case-by-case basis – an approach has both benefits and detriments. On one hand, you can rest assured that the individual circumstances of your case will be considered. On the other hand, this approach doesn’t provide much predictability or “bright lines” that you can count on when trying to plan ahead.
Alimony is designed to be sure that both parties have adequate income after a divorce. Alimony may be ordered if a particular party’s property award is not enough to support them. It may also be ordered if a particular party will be financially worse off after the divorce and the other party ends up able to pay money to make up the difference.
Alimony is complicated, and lifestyles change. If you are seeking alimony or being asked to pay alimony, consult with a Troy alimony lawyer at Hermiz Law for assistance and guidance.
Agreements on Alimony
The path of least resistance is for the two parties to come to some reasonable agreement regarding alimony. Alimony is part of the overall process of dividing assets in a divorce. You and your spouse can try to work out a property settlement yourselves, including whether one party will pay alimony and how much it will be.
If you and your spouse can’t reach an agreement regarding alimony, the judge will decide for you. The judge may consider, among other factors:
- How each party behaved during the marriage. If one spouse has acted badly, the judge will consider this. However, fault alone will not justify an award of alimony.
- The length of the marriage. The longer the marriage, the more likely the judge is to award alimony. This is critical if one spouse doesn’t have a career or any appreciable job skills.
- Whether each party can be gainfully employed. Alimony is more likely when a spouse can’t work or is unlikely to find work.
- How much property each party is getting in the divorce and whether the property is “liquid.” A spouse is typically not expected to use their property award to pay everyday living expenses, but a judge may award alimony to a party who is receiving mostly non-cash assets.
- The ages of the parties. An older person who has not worked during the marriage is more likely to need alimony. Still, if the other spouse is retired and living on a fixed income, that could weigh against awarding alimony, especially if the party who would get the alimony is younger than retirement age.
- Whether either party is capable of paying alimony. The judge will balance how much the paying spouse can earn with the other spouse’s ability to support herself or himself.
- The current living situation of the parties. The judge may consider things like each spouse’s earning potential and career prospects. We’ve all heard stories about alimony awards designed to allow the receiving spouse to live the kind of life they have become “accustomed to.”
This is only a short list of the factors a judge may consider when making alimony decisions. The judge will make a decision based on these factors as well as anything else that may be important. The judge does not have to weigh each factor equally and must make decisions based on each relevant factor.
A Troy Alimony Lawyer at Hermiz Law Can Help You With Your Alimony and Other Divorce Issues
Alimony decisions are among the most important, complex, and unpredictable decisions made during any divorce in Michigan. If you’re facing a divorce in Michigan, whether you are asking for alimony or asking for lower alimony to be paid, we can help you protect your rights.
At Hermiz Law, we understand all of the complicated series of factors that a judge may consider and will prepare arguments for each potential factor. Contact a Troy alimony lawyer. We return all messages within one day.