When a couple divorces, the spouse who is at an economic disadvantage may be awarded alimony as part of the dissolution settlement. According to Michigan divorce law, there are three different ways in which spousal support may be ordered. Several factors will need to be considered before a judge determines which type of alimony will best serve one's situation -- such as marriage length and economic need.
In Michigan, there are three different types of alimony. These are alimony in gross, permanent, or long-term support and rehabilitative support. Alimony in gross simply means that the paying spouse will have to pay the full support amount in one lump sum.
Permanent or long-term alimony may be awarded if a couple was married for a long period of time. It may also be considered if the receiving spouse has a health condition that prevents him or her from working. This type of spousal support will need to be paid until either the payer or recipient's death or until the recipient gets remarried.
Finally, rehabilitative support, which is the most common, is only granted for a short period of time. This is meant to assist the receiving spouse until he or she can fully support him or herself. As it is difficult to know how long that will take, this type of alimony order is adjustable in terms of the duration of payments and possibly the amount.
There are no guarantees that alimony will be awarded in one's divorce case. It is possible for a couple to work out their own arrangement, but for those who do not, a judge will have the final say. A divorce law attorney can assist the client in seeking alimony if he or she meet the necessary qualifications to receive it.
Source: FindLaw, "The FindLaw Guide to Spousal Support", Accessed on April 25, 2017