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Factors in spousal support approval

Couples going through a divorce in Michigan should be aware of how alimony is determined. Not all situations warrant financial support for the wife or husband, and even if it is granted it may only be temporary.

According to FindLaw, the main reason spousal support may be granted is due to economic differences. If one spouse earned significantly less than the other, or if one left a career to raise a family, the other spouse may be required to provide ongoing income to either help the other gain job skills or to support a specific standard of living. While child support is determined by a specific set of guidelines, a variety of issues play into the awarding of spousal support, if it is granted at all.

Michigan Legal Help reports couples can agree on alimony as part of the property settlement. However, a couple may also choose to have the courts decide. When determining support, the judge examines a number of factors such as:

  • The ability of each spouse to work
  • The conduct of each party during the marriage
  • The age of each spouse
  • The marriage length
  • The amount and type of other property each party receives
  • The needs and current living situation of each spouse
  • The ability to pay alimony
  • The contribution of each party to the joint estate throughout the marriage

If alimony is granted, it may be paid out in one lump sum or in periodic payments. Support is typically granted on a temporary basis, although permanent support may be awarded in long-term marriages.

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