In its simplest definition, alimony, which is also referred to as spousal support, can be described as a monetary arrangement that is created to prevent one divorced spouse from suffering a decrease in their standard of living. Frequently, one spouse makes much more money than they other spouse, or one spouse has been out of the workforce for a considerable amount of time and may not have any marketable job skills. This makes it extremely hard, if not impossible, to find gainful employment that would enable he or she to maintain the standard of living to which they are accustomed.
Most family law attorneys will encourage their clients to attempt to come to an agreement regarding alimony through mediation rather than going through the court system. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, the issue will be settled by the Michigan court system. There are 10 specific factors the court will use to determine who must pay alimony after the divorce, how much, and for how long.
These factors are:
- Each spouse’s behavior during the marriage
- How long the couple was married
- Whether or not each spouse has the capacity to work
- How much “liquid” property each spouse will receive in the divorce
- Each spouse’s health, income, and age
- Whether or not there are other family members to support
- The couple’s standard of living when they were married
- Each spouse’s ability to pay alimony
- What is fair in regards to each spouse’s situation
There is no black and white formula for determining spousal support; although, the law does provide these guidelines. It must be decided on a case by case basis. Alimony may be permanent or temporary. Before agreeing to an arrangement that may not be in your best interests or those of your family, contact Gerkin & Decker, PC today to speak with an experienced men’s divorce lawyer who is ready to work toward a resolution that is in the best interest of both you and your family.