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How Spousal Support is Determined in Michigan

 Posted on June 27, 2023 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerSpousal support, or alimony, ensures the financial stability of spouses who earn less than their ex-spouse. In Michigan, judges consider several factors when determining this amount. In other words, unlike child support, there is no formula for determining spousal support in the state.

The state does not guarantee that spousal support will be awarded in each divorce case. Some of the factors that judges in Michigan look into when they have to determine spousal support include the following:


Alimony may not be applicable if the recipient is living with or cohabitating with someone after their divorce.


Determining if the spousal support receipt or payment is fair or not. There are no easy answers to this, so most people go for mediation to determine a fair amount.

Ability to Find Employment

If one spouse spent most of their married life raising the children and looking after the home, they may have few marketable skills. Returning to work to become financially independent can be difficult in this case.

Duration of the Marriage

In some situations, the longer a couple is married, the longer the alimony payments will be. It can also be permanent in certain cases.


Suppose a spouse is a full-time caregiver for an elderly parent and that prevents them from working outside the home and supporting themselves financially. In that case, spousal support may be applicable in their case. However, if the spouse who earns more is the caregiver and their income is reduced significantly, the alimony payments may be reduced or eliminated.

Ability to make spousal support payments

In any conversation involving spousal support discussions, a balance needs to be created between what an individual can pay versus how much one can earn if they return to work or are fully employed.


If, in exchange for spousal support, a spouse agrees to take on some of the debts of their ex-spouse, it can also factor into the case.

Equitable Distribution of Marital Assets and Liabilities

The number of liquid assets a party possesses may factor in spousal support decisions. As per Michigan law, alimony buyouts are permissible, including liquid assets or cases that can be given from the other party's assets.

The Role of Each Party in the Marriage

Usually, both spouses work outside the home. But while it is not as common as before, there are still cases in which one spouse works, and the other remains at home to take care of the children and the house. In such cases, Michigan courts may recognize that both parties contributed to the marriage even if one didn’t earn a paycheck.

Contact a Novi Spousal Support Attorney

If you and your spouse have decided to pursue a divorce, you should be prepared for the financial impact it may have on your life. Creating a budget may be helpful but may not be sufficient for your and your family's needs post-divorce. Contact a Northville spousal support attorney from Elkouri Heath PLC to negotiate a divorce settlement and alimony agreement. Dial 248-344-9700 to book a consultation with us today.



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