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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:

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Oakland County spousal support attorney

The playing field of divorce may have leveled out over the past several years, but some women are still at a financial disadvantage when their marriage ends. In particular, women who left the workforce or sacrificed their education to raise a family or promote their spouse’s career may face some financial surprises with devastating consequences when they embark on a divorce. It is essential to learn the Michigan divorce laws to be prepared for this next chapter of your life.  

1. Needing to Return to the Workforce

If you stepped back from your career to raise a family or further your spouse’s career, entered into retirement, or suffer a disability that limits your ability to work, you may be eligible for spousal support (alimony). Awards do not last forever, however, so it is recommended that you plan for re-entry into the workforce sooner rather than later. If you cannot work, strive to find a viable alternative, such as Disability or your spouse’s Social Security. 

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Farmington Hills alimony attorney

When a couple divorces, one spouse may be at a significant financial disadvantage. For example, if a stay-at-home parent has not worked outside of the home in many years, he or she may have difficulty acquiring employment and becoming financially independent after the split. In some divorce cases, the higher-earning spouse is obligated to make payments to the lesser-earning spouse for a period of time. These payments are commonly referred to as alimony, spousal support, or spousal maintenance. Although wives have traditionally been the recipients of spousal support, both men and women may be entitled to this kind of monetary support depending on the circumstances.

Michigan Spousal Support

If you are considering divorce, you may be wondering whether you will be ordered to pay spousal maintenance. The answer depends on a number of factors. If you and your spouse had previously signed a valid prenuptial agreement that dictates your spousal support obligations, you will be expected to comply with the terms of that agreement. Michigan courts make decisions regarding alimony on a case-by-case basis. When determining whether spousal support is appropriate, the court will consider aspects such as:

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Novi MI alimony lawyer“Manimony” is a play on the term alimony that describes the court-ordered amount a divorced woman pays to her ex-husband each month. If a woman makes significantly more money than her husband, she may be subject to paying him alimony post-divorce. According to the 2010 census, 3 percent of alimony recipients were men but that number has risen. 

How Alimony is Determined

There are many factors that will determine if alimony will be awarded, in what amounts, and under what duration. Two key factors are the length of the marriage and the difference between spouses’ incomes. The larger the income differential is and a longer length of your relationship can result in a higher alimony award. 

Other factors include: the past relations and conduct of the spouses, the abilities of the spouses to work, the source and amount of property awarded to the spouses in the property settlement of the divorce, the parties’ ages and health, a spouse’s fault in causing the divorce, and overall fairness.

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MI divorce lawyerUnlike child support, spousal support is not as rigidly defined in the Michigan divorce codes. In Michigan, there is a formula that tells you whether or not you will receive child support and how much that child support amount will be. With spousal support, it is determined on a case-by-case basis if you are awarded it, how much it will be and for how long you will get the payments. Spousal support is sometimes a necessity in a divorce, especially if one spouse does not make as much as the other or was a stay-at-home parent. Spousal support can provide that spouse with a much-needed supplement to his or her income.

Am I Guaranteed Spousal Support?

In a Michigan divorce, spousal support is not guaranteed to be awarded to either spouse. You and your spouse do have the chance to decide on spousal support in your settlement. You have the option to negotiate with your spouse if you will receive spousal support and how much that support will be. If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement, the judge will intervene and make the decisions for you.

Factors for Consideration

If the judge has to step in to make the final say about any spousal support decisions that must be made, he or she will look at a variety of factors surrounding you and your spouse’s situation. These factors can include:

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How Is Alimony Determined in a Michigan Divorce?

Spousal support, or alimony, is money that one party gives to the other as one of the terms of the divorce. Michigan Law recognizes the need for alimony, but does not consist of explicit language outlining the terms of spousal support in Michigan. However, there are multiple factors that courts consider when determining whether one party is in need of alimony.

Factors such as the ages of the parties, their respective income, their behavior during the marriage, and the length of the marriage are considered by the court when determining whether one party is entitled to alimony.

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