Spousal Support and Alimony

Loraine R. Kuhn – Spousal Support and Alimony Attorney in Michigan

First let me clear something up. Spousal support and alimony are  the same thing.  The term alimony was commonly used until a few years ago when the legislature decided to make all laws gender neutral and substituted the term spousal support for alimony.

 Basis for Michigan Spousal Support

According toMichiganlaw, the court may order spousal support to be paid if it is “just and reasonable, after considering the ability of either party to pay, and the character and situation of the parties, and all circumstances of the case”  MCLA 552.23.

Factors Used in Determining Whether Spousal Support Should Be Awarded

Eleven factors are considered in determining whether spousal support should be awarded in a particular case.  The court must make findings on each factor relevant to a particular support claim.  The relevant factors are as follows: 

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 ages 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.

As a general rule, when the court applies these factors, little if any spousal support is awarded in short term marriages, while spousal support is common in long term marriages, however spousal support awards vary from judge to judge and county to county.  This is why it is important to have an experiencedMichiganfamily law attorney who knows the law and the judge.

Modifiable versus Non-Modifiable Spousal Support

The only type of spousal support a court can order after a hearing or trial is modifiable spousal support.  While spousal support can be ordered for a period of years or until death or remarriage, whichever occurs, it is always modifiable upon a change of circumstances.  Non-modifiable spousal support, which is for a specific number of months or years, can only be ordered if the parties agree to waive their right to modifiable spousal support.  Non-modifiable spousal support can only be achieved as a result of a negotiated settlement.  Parties often agree to non-modifiable spousal support because it provides finality and allows the party to plan for the future.

Tax Consequences of Spousal Support

For the most part, spousal support is tax deductible to the payer and taxable to the payee under the Internal Revenue Code. 

Loraine R. Kuhn is a skilled family law attorney.  If you have a divorce case or a post-judgment spousal support matter, you need an attorney well versed in Michigan spousal support law.  With over 30 years’ experience handling Michigan divorce and family law cases; Loraine R. Kuhn has the knowledge and skill to win your case. 

Contact Family Law Attorney, Loraine R. Kuhn at (248) 862-3933 to schedule a free initial consultation on any matter related to all Family Law Practice Areas.

Please visit the Family Law Practice Area page to see a full list of practice areas Loraine R. Kuhn specializes in. You will find helpful descriptions of each practice area, how they pertain to Michigan Family Laws, and how Loraine can assist you as your Oakland County attorney.

30500 Northwestern Highway, Ste. 200 Farmington Hills, MI 48334-3177