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SPOUSAL SUPPORT 1: The Factors that Determine Spousal Support.


Originally posted on: 01/16/2018

A judge's gavel rests on top of a stack of money with divorce attorneys in the background.People live their lives with hope for a bright future.

For some, this bright future includes a marriage of bliss and devotion. Unfortunately, things do not always go as planned. Even when a relationship ends, it is necessary to make sure your legal rights and your ability to remain financially secure will continue after your marriage ends with divorce.

Many of our former clients wonder what spousal support looks like. In this article, you will learn about the factors that impact spousal support and what you should know before moving forward with this part of your divorce.

What Factors Determine Spousal Support?

In deciding whether to award spousal support, trial courts are to take into consideration the following factors:

  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 amount of property awarded to the parties,
  5. The parties’ ages,
  6. The abilities of the parties to pay alimony,
  7.  The present situation of the parties,
  8.  The needs of the parties,
  9. The parties’ health,
  10. The prior standard of living of the parties and whether either is responsible for the support of others,
  11. 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.

So, What is the Ultimate Legal Goal of Spousal Support?

The Court recognizes that the object in awarding spousal support is to balance the incomes and needs of the parties so that neither will be impoverished; spousal support is to be based on what is just and reasonable under the circumstances of the case.  MCL 552.23 further requires that spousal support be determined case by case, and a spousal support award should reflect what is just and reasonable under the circumstances of the case.

Michigan Spousal Support

In Michigan, marital assets (assets acquired during the marriage) are divided equitably during the divorce process. This does not mean that the property division will be equal, however. The court will seek a "fair and equitable" division by taking in the factors above.

Child Support and Your Continued Options

It is important to remember that decrees regarding child support and spousal support (alimony) are not always final.  Circumstances change all the time, which is why it is possible to seek a post-decree modification.

Partner with a Quality Michigan Divorce Attorney

Are you facing a divorce in Michigan? Do you have questions about how your assets and your debts will be divided with your soon-to-be ex-spouse?  At the Plymouth and Ann Arbor law firm of Aldrich Legal Services, our attorneys understand the struggles you may face. We will work hard to help you obtain all to which you are entitled during your divorce. Call for a free consultation.

REAL ESTATE 89: RM had not included any language in the deed providing that the property was a joint tenancy with full rights of survivorship, the property instead became a tenancy in common.

RM drafted the deed without seeking counsel and mistakenly believed that, if either she or FK died, the property would fully pass to the surviving tenant. FK’s will provided that if his wife predeceased him—which she did—the personal representative of his estate should sell any residual property that he owned and divide the cash proceeds equally among his surviving children.

FAMILY LAW 83: A trial court can terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child.

A trial court has discretion to terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child when the conditions of MCL 710.51(6) are met. MCL 710.51(6)(b) requires the petitioner to establish that the other parent had the ability to visit, contact, or communicate with the children, and substantially failed or neglected to do so for a period of two years.

PROBATE 53: The trust agreement included an Incontestability Provision.

A settlor’s intent is to be carried out as nearly as possible. Generally, in terrorem clauses are valid and enforceable. However, a provision in a trust that purports to penalize an interested person for contesting the trust or instituting another proceeding relating to the trust shall not be given effect if probable cause exists for instituting a proceeding contesting the trust or another proceeding relating to the trust.

FAMILY LAW 82: Court stated it would terminate the personal protection order (PPO) after the parties present documentation of the initiation of the divorce proceedings.

However, the trial court concluded that these matters should, in fact, be in the province and the jurisdiction of the Family Division and in that respect, having issued a personal protection order, the Court stated it would terminate the personal protection order after the parties present documentation of the initiation of the divorce proceedings.

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The probate court explained that the owners of the account are S and J. When S passes, J becomes the owner of the account. J is the one who had the authority to make the designation. Nowhere in any documents is there a designation by J that SJ be the owner -- or the beneficiary of the account. The designation made by his father was no longer binding because he was no longer the owner at the time J passed away.

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