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:
- The past relations and conduct of the parties.
- The length of the marriage.
- The ability of the parties to work.
- The source of and amount of property awarded to the parties.
- The age of the parties.
- The ability of the parties to pay alimony.
- The present situation of the parties.
- The needs of the parties.
- The health of the parties.
- The prior standard of living of the parties and whether either is responsible for the support of others.
- General principles of equity (fairness).
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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.