Spousal Support in Michigan
MCL 552.23(1) contemplates a case-by-case approach in determining an award of spousal support. Loutts, 298 Mich App at 29-30.5 “The primary purpose of spousal support is to balance the parties’ incomes and needs so that neither party will be impoverished, and spousal support must be based on what is just and reasonable considering the circumstances of the case.” Id. at 32. A court should consider all relevant factors in determining an appropriate award of spousal support, including:
(1) the past relations and conduct of the parties;
(2) the length of the marriage;
(3) the abilities of the parties to work;
(4) the source and the amount of property awarded to the parties;
(5) the parties’ ages;
(6) the abilities of the parties to pay support;
(7) the present situation of the parties;
(8) the needs of the parties;
(9) the parties’ health;
(10) the parties’ prior standard of living and whether either is responsible for the support of others;
(11) the contributions of the parties to the joint estate;
(12) a party’s fault in causing the divorce;
(13) the effect of cohabitation on a party’s financial status; and
(14) general principles of equity. [Woodington, 288 Mich App at 356 (citation omitted).]
Rehabilitative spousal support is intended to allow a party to assimilate into the work force and establish economic self-sufficiency. See Friend v Friend, 486 Mich 1035; 783 NW2d 122 (2010). “Spousal support does not follow a strict formula.” Loutts, 298 Mich App at 30.
The court must make findings on each factor relevant to the claim before it.
The most important factors the court looks at is the disparity (difference) in income between the parties and length of marriage. The short the marriage the less likely there will be spousal support. Additionally, there must be a difference in income. If the parties have been marriage for 30 years and earn the same income, there will be no spousal support.
If you are facing a divorce involving spousal support, a good divorce attorney is not optional, it is a requirement! Our divorce attorneys can answer your questions with straight talk. Having the right divorce attorney on your side can relieve your stress during this difficult situation. Our attorneys have over 85 years of divorce experience. Our attorneys have extensive divorce trial experience. Typical fees to retain attorney for a divorce case can range from as little as 1,500 dollars to as high as 10,000 dollars. Considering the seriousness of this life changing event, it is extremely important to retain the services of an experienced attorney in the area of divorce.
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Call for a free phone consultation. Our office can help.
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Grand Rapids MI 49503
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