Michigan Alimony Attorney
Going through a divorce is never an easy process. Adding additional payments to the mix after a divorce is finalized is often times when people reach their breaking points. The lawyers of Goldman & Associates want you to know that we’re here for you to assist you with your divorce process every step of the way, and we will always provide you with the highest quality service while ensuring that your legal rights are protected along the way.
Alimony and Spousal Support
Alimony (sometimes also called spousal support) is a legal obligation on a person to provide financial support to his or her spouse before or after marital separation or divorce. This can come about for a number of reasons, including a difference in the relative income of the parties, the length of the marriage, and, in certain states the assignment of fault in the marital breakdown.
What is Alimony & Spousal Support?
The purpose of alimony and spousal support is to ensure an adequate income stream for the spouse whose economic dependency has resulted, at least in part, from the marital relationship. The courts in Michigan have great discretion in awarding alimony or spousal support. Generally, in determining whether to award a spouse alimony or spousal support, the court examines the following factors: the past relations and conduct of the parties; the duration of the marriage; the ability of the parties to work; the source of and amount of property awarded to the parties; the ages of the parties; the ability of the parties to pay; 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; and general principles of equity. Additionally, although fault is generally not considered as grounds for divorce in Michigan, it can be considered when dividing property and determining spousal support.
At Goldman & Associates, our each and every experienced MI alimony lawyer can assist you with the following, including but not limited to:
Alimony support calculation
Though an award amount to a spouse is ultimately figured out by different calculations stemming from income, length of marriage, and quality of life, it is imperative to have a seasoned Michigan alimony attorney at your side to assure that you are being accurately represented during this process. Failure to do so may result in you being taken advantage of, making payments too high or not quite enough.
As with all aspects of the law, sometimes court ordered arrangements just aren’t conducive to the lifestyle we live. When child support payments become overbearing, it is possible to have them reduced or increased depending on the situation. The knowledge of our expert support modification attorneys will go a long way in a court of law, resulting in your desired outcomes in regards to a new and improved payment amount.
If you are a parent paying child support who has had significant financial changes, it is important to let the court know before you fall victim to back payments. Often times, the courts will work with you to establish a new payment that is conducive to your new level of income. It is important to contact an experienced Michigan alimony attorney as soon as you recognize a significant change.
When a spouse remarries, there is significant change to an alimony payment. In some cases, the payment is lowered or dissolved entirely. To understand your rights in greater detail, it is important to take advantage of our free legal consultation with an experienced Michigan alimony and spousal support attorney.
Because Michigan does not have any required legal guidelines for awarding alimony or spousal support, the knowledge and experience of your attorney is crucial in determining how much or how little support you receive. Successfully obtaining alimony or spousal support requires a comprehensive examination of marital finances, income and assets and an aggressive, skilled attorney fighting for your rights.
Conversely, having an aggressive, skilled attorney is vital in ensuring that you are not burdened by a spousal support order that will negatively affect your current standard of living and future financial well being.
Am I Going to Have to Pay?
Judges will evaluate the parties’ circumstances in determining whether spousal support is appropriate. There is no set formula. Judges must order spousal support only where “it is just and reasonable, after considering the ability of either party to pay and the character and situation of the parties, and all the other circumstances of the case.” MCL 552.23. Some situations are going to be slam-dunk cases for spousal support such as where a marriage lasts for over 20 years, one party makes significant income while the other party is without a job, and also those situations where one party is unable to work due to a disability.
Arguments Against Alimony
As alluded to in the preceding paragraphs, judges will take a long look at whether the potential payee has the ability to work and what his/her background is like. If a spouse does not have a job, an argument must be made that he/she has the ability to work by pointing toward their health, age and educational background. If they have no educational background, and rehabilitative support is ordered, it could be argued that they have an obligation to try to obtain work skills if they cannot find a job. Another argument to make is to shift the focus off of your spouse as the payee upon yourself as the payee. Showing a judge that there is an inability to pay as a result of a change in circumstances (such as losing a job, retiring) will be considered very seriously.
Michigan Alimony and Spousal Support Law Facts
In Michigan, there are a number of factors which can influence the assignment of spousal support or alimony. Alimony is determined separately from the separation of property, and has as its primary goal the balancing of the incomes and needs of the parties. Even though Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, the court can still consider the conduct of both parties during the marriage, as well as other factors, including the length of the marriage, age of both parties, and the present situation of the parties.
Contact a Spousal Support and Alimony Attorney Today
If you are facing an alimony or spousal support struggle in Southeast Michigan, contact one of our experienced, skilled and knowledgeable attorneys today for a free, confidential consultation. Call our Michigan alimony and spousal support attorneys today (248) 588-3333 or (877) 737-8800 for a free legal consultation. Some of our family law legal practice areas we can assist you with include: