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How Can I Enforce a Spousal Support Order in My Michigan Divorce?

 Posted on March 06, 2020 in Divorce

How Can I Enforce a Spousal Support Order in My Michigan Divorce?The thought of ending your marriage can be very intimidating in many ways. In some cases, you may be afraid to leave for financial reasons. Imagining how you will survive on one income may be daunting, especially if you stayed home to raise your children. However, you may be entitled to spousal support (alimony) if you get a divorce in Michigan. Each situation is unique, and the court will evaluate different factors when calculating this type of support. If you are awarded spousal support benefits, your ex-spouse is responsible for making these payments in a timely manner. However, things may not work as planned if your ex does not follow the rules. An experienced divorce attorney can assist you with enforcing spousal support or child support to ensure your financial security so you can move on with the rest of your life.   

Factors Considered by the Court 

According to Michigan divorce law, spousal support is not always awarded in a divorce case. If a couple cannot come to an agreement on how to divide assets or property and one spouse requests support, the court must determine if spousal support is appropriate. Below are a few of the relevant circumstances the court will review when making that decision:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Age and health of each spouse
  • Each party’s contributions to the marriage
  • Economic resources of each spouse
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Property received in the divorce settlement
  • Whether one spouse was financially dependent on the other 

Steps For Enforcing an Order 

If your ex-spouse is not making his or her legally required spousal support payments, you need to take decisive action to enforce the payments:

  • Hire an attorney to draft a legal motion with the appropriate paperwork. 
  • Ask a judge to order your spouse to make the payments and meet the payment schedule in the future. 
  • Ask the court to file a motion for contempt or enforcement.

If the court rules in your favor, the judge can hold your ex-spouse in contempt of court. The judgment may also withhold part of the delinquent spouse’s income, award you part of his or her assets, or issue a monetary judgment against your ex with interest. The court can also confiscate financial profits from real estate. Depending on how long your ex-spouse has failed to pay, he or she may even face jail time.

In some situations, if your ex-spouse lost his or her job or suffered a debilitating injury, the courts can temporarily reduce or suspend payments until your spouse can return to work. This is considered a support order modification, but there must be proof of a substantial change in circumstances for either party. Your ex is responsible for requesting a modification and cannot decide to stop paying on his or her own.

Contact a Novi, MI, Divorce Attorney

Divorce can wreak havoc on your life in several ways, including significantly affecting your finances. However, your financial situation should not dictate whether you stay in an unhappy marriage. At the skilled law firm of Elkouri Heath, PLC, we are well-versed in the Michigan laws regarding alimony. Our tenacious Oakland County spousal support lawyers will work tirelessly to secure a judgment in your favor and make sure you receive what is rightfully yours. To schedule your free and confidential consultation, call us today at 248-344-9700. 


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