Macomb County Alimony & Spousal Support Lawyers
Macomb County Lawyers Who Understand Alimony & Spousal Support
Decades ago, when most women did not work outside the home, Michigan Courts routinely awarded alimony to be paid by the husband to the wife. Now, since many families have two income earners, Michigan Courts tend to limit alimony awards to “rehabilitative alimony”. This means alimony is generally only considered when it is necessary to restore a spouse who has insufficient income to maintain a financial status that will allow a reasonable transition for both households.
Alimony is now more commonly called “spousal support”. The Court has the power to award spousal support that 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.”
Spousal support is gender neutral, and either spouse may be ordered to pay alimony for suitable support for the other party, if it is determined that they have insufficient income for their financial needs. However, it is still somewhat more common for the Court to order a husband to pay spousal support to the wife.
If the parties willingly agree upon an amount of spousal support, the Court will approve any arrangement that both parties accept. But – since spousal support is never “automatic” in Michigan – when spousal support can not be agreed upon, the party who seeks it must skillfully petition the Court to award it.[one_half_last]
In determining if spousal support is to be awarded, the Court will look at:
- The length of the marriage;
- The parties’ contributions to the marriage;
- The parties’ ability to work;*
- The spouse’s ability to pay;
- The parties’ ages;
- The parties’ health or disabilities;
- The parties’ station in life or style of living;
- The party’s necessities and circumstances; and,
- The parties’ respective earning abilities.
* NOTE: When determining a spouse’s “ability to work” the court will also consider the following sources of income: earnings, unemployment benefits, severance packages, disability, and the unexercised ability to earn if income is voluntarily reduced to avoid paying support based upon an analysis of past employment history, reasons for job termination, and legally provable available work opportunities and due diligence in trying to find employment.
In determining a spousal support award, the Court will also consider:
(1.) The past relations and conduct of the parties. How the parties conducted themselves during their marriage as well as fault in the breakdown of the marriage is not considered when granting a divorce, but it is considered when determining alimony.
However, fault is only one factor and will not be assigned all of the weight. Fault could include factors such as infidelity, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, gambling, financial dissipation of assets.
(2.) The present situation of the parties. The Court will also consider the property award granted to both parties and whether it will be sufficient for their respective needs. General principles of fairness are weighed, including whether either party is responsible for the support of others.
Because the Court relies on a complicated and often subjective set of factors in determining if Spousal Support will be awarded, it is essential to hire an aggressive and experienced divorce attorney to fight for your rights, so you obtain the spousal support arrangement that you deserve.
Free Consultation With a Macomb County Alimony & Spousal Support Lawyer
An experienced lawyer can look at all of the factors that apply to your situation and effectively present a strong legal case for or against spousal support to the Court. Remember, since there is no longer liberal “alimony”, it is unlikely that you will be able to obtain the results you desire unless you have a skilled attorney by your side.
We have successfully obtained spousal support results for our clients in literally hundreds of divorce cases. Call us today, and we will use our years of experience and our extensive legal knowledge to fight for you.
Experienced family law attorney Justin Vande Vrede and the lawyers at Lakeside Legal Group have successfully represented hundreds of individuals in their divorces. They will offer you compassionate advice & aggressive representation at affordable rates, to ensure that your rights are protected and you get the results you deserve.
For a FREE CONSULTATION with an experienced Macomb County Alimony & Spousal Support Lawyer, call Lakeside Legal Group today: 586-469-0900.
Lakside Legal Group is a full service Michigan law firm providing representation in Macomb County, Oakland County, Wayne County and St. Clair County, including: Mt. Clemens, Warren, Sterling Heights, Madison Heights, Eastepointe, Saint Clair Shores, Roseville, Shelby Township, Chesterfield Township, Macomb Township, Grosse Pointe Shores, Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe, Clinton Township, Harrison Township, Utica, Romeo, New Baltimore, Algonac, Armada, Port Huron, Imlay City, Rochester, Troy, Hazel Park, Clawson, Bloomfield Hills, Birmingham, Pontiac, Beverly Hills, Oak Park, Detroit, Southfield and Royal Oak.