Alimony / Spousal support is a monthly payment made by one spouse to another in accordance to a settlement agreement or court order. The purpose of alimony is to level the economic playing field for both parties and to correct any unfair economic effects of a divorce on one party, such as when a stay-at-home parent suddenly needs a source of income.
Michigan law provides a statutory basis for Alimony / Spousal Support when the assets awarded to either party are not sufficient to support them. There are eleven factors taken into consideration when determining if Alimony / Spousal Support should be awarded. The factors are:
1. The past relations and conduct of the parties.
2. The length of the marriage.
3. The ability of the parties to work.
4. The source of and amount of property awarded to the parties.
5. The age of the parties.
6. The ability of the parties to pay alimony.
7. The present situation of the parties.
8. The needs of the parties.
9. The health of the parties.
10. The prior standard of living of the parties and whether either is responsible for the support of others.
11. General principles of equity (fairness).
Even though Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, fault for the break down of the marriage IS a relevant factor when it comes to awarding alimony / spousal support.
There are many creative ways to both, maximize or minimize a parties’ alimony or support award or obligation including tax effecting assets, buy-outs and proper application of the alimony/spousal support factors. The experienced attorneys at Ziulkowski & Associates, PLC are very creative and familiar with numerous methods designed to benefit our clients.
A confidential consultation is the best mechanism to privately discuss your options.re.