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Are Stay-at-Home Parents Entitled to Spousal Support in Michigan?

Posted on in Divorce

Oakland County divorce attorney spousal support

If you have not worked outside of the home in some time and you are considering divorce, you may have concerns about how you will make ends meet without your spouse’s financial contributions. The prospect of reentering the workforce after being a homemaker or stay-at-home parent for many years can be daunting. You may worry that you do not have the job skills or education needed to gain suitable employment. You may also worry about being forced to place your children in childcare when you would rather stay home and raise them yourself. Alimony, or spousal support, may offer financial assistance for divorcing spouses who are not the primary wage-earner, but alimony is not awarded in every Michigan divorce.

When Is Alimony Awarded in Michigan?

There are several avenues through which alimony is awarded in Michigan. You may be entitled to alimony if you and your spouse signed a valid prenuptial agreement or other marital agreement that gives you the right to alimony. You may also receive alimony if you and your spouse can agree to a spousal support arrangement and the court approves of your agreement. Your lawyer may be able to help you negotiate a spousal support agreement or you may reach an agreement through an alternative resolution method like mediation or collaborative law. Unfortunately, many spouses find that getting the other spouse to agree to reasonable spousal support terms is nearly impossible. In this case, you would need to petition the court for a spousal support order.

Seeking Spousal Support Through the Court

Alimony determinations in Michigan are left to the court’s discretion.  The amount and duration of alimony are decided on a case-by-case basis. Michigan courts will consider several factors when deciding whether alimony is appropriate, including:

  • The duration of the marriage and the standard of living during the marriage

  • The spouses’ conduct during the marriage including a spouse’s infidelity

  • How marital assets are being divided

  • Each spouse’s financial situation

  • Each spouse’s needs

  • Each spouse’s age and health

  • The spouses’ earning capacities

  • Each spouse’s contributions to the acquisition of marital property

Contact an Oakland County Spousal Support Lawyer

Divorce can create a massive financial strain on a lesser-earning spouse. If you wish to learn more about your entitlement to spousal support or alimony in Michigan, contact the experienced legal team at Elkouri Heath, PLC. A skilled Novi, MI divorce attorney from our firm can help you negotiate spousal support arrangements with your spouse or petition the court for a spousal support order.  Call us today at 248-344-9700 to schedule a free consultation.




Oakland County Bar Association State Bar of Michigan Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan WCCDBA Woman Lawyers Association of Michigan
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