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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.

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