Because you and your spouse have significant assets, spousal support is more likely to be an option in your Michigan divorce than it would for a couple with only moderate incomes. One reason is that ability of one spouse to pay the alimony is a factor in whether the judge awards it. However, there are many other considerations that may sway the judge toward or away from an alimony order.
At The Smith Law Offices, P.C., we often assist spouses who are seeking spousal support through negotiations and into the courtroom.
Factors relevant to spousal support
The law provides guidelines for judges so that the decision to award spousal support is not arbitrary and inconsistent. Michigan Legal Help explains that these include the following for each spouse:
- Living situation
- Physical and mental health
- Education level
- Prior standard of living
The judge will also consider the contributions you and your spouse made to the marriage, including home management and child-rearing as well as financial contributions. If one of you is living with someone else and this affects your financial status, that may make a difference. Child support payments are also important, as they may make the difference in the amount of income or expenses a spouse has.
Types of spousal support
Even though your spouse has a much better income, you may not need spousal support for very long. You may need help getting set up in your own place, which can be expensive, or you may need to take some college courses or other training in order to update your job skills and bump your career up to the next level or find a well-paying job. Because you will eventually be able to support yourself and enjoy a lifestyle similar to that you had when you were married, the judge may order a lump-sum payment or temporary periodic payments during the interim.
If you have been married a long time, and you are not likely to be able to find an adequate job before retirement age, you are more likely to receive permanent support. Even though it is called permanent spousal support, the payments may stop at retirement age or if you remarry.
More information about spousal support in Michigan high-asset divorces is available on our webpage.