When the judge orders a divorce, it is possible that he will order one of the spouses to make temporary alimony or long-term alimony. Alimony is financial assistance provided from one spouse to the other after the end of the marriage and is separate from any child support payments that are made due to the nature of the child custody arrangement. Alimony is designed to preserve the economic situation of both parties as it existed during the marriage.
How Do You Qualify for Alimony?
Alimony is awarded to either spouse at the end of a divorce proceeding is decided by the judge according to what is fair under the circumstances. To qualify for alimony, you should show the court:
- You have a need for financial support after the end of the marriage; and
- The other spouse has an ability to make alimony payments.
How Much Alimony Can You Receive?
Alimony in Michigan can come in 3 forms:
- One lump sum payment,
- Temporary & periodic alimony payments, and
- Permanent & periodic alimony payments.
In calculating the total support award, there is no set formula or limit. Unless agreed to by the parties, the judge will decide how much alimony should be paid according to the following factors:
- How the spouses behaved during the marriage
- The length of the marriage
- Whether each spouse can work
- The amount and type of property each spouse receives from the divorce
- The age and health of the spouses
- The standard of living during the marriage
- Whether each spouse can support themselves
- Whether either spouse can pay alimony
- Any other factor needed to make a fair decision
Alimony awards differ from case to case based on the factors listed above. However, these awards in the United States can be quite high with some even exceeding 1.3 million dollars.
How Long Does Alimony Last?
Generally, alimony payments are temporary and are determined by the judge. However, alimony payments will end if either spouse dies, or if the spouse receiving payments remarries or enters a relationship that is the equivalent of marriage.
How Do You Petition for Alimony?
In Michigan, you should ask for alimony at the very beginning of the divorce proceeding in the Complaint for Divorce. If you fail to request alimony at first, you may be able to ask for it later by asking the court to allow you to amend the Complaint for Divorce or by filing a Motion Regarding Support. In the request, you should also list why you qualify for alimony. After a spouse asks the court for alimony, both spouses will be required to submit to the court a Financial Statement. This document must include bank statements, credit card statements, monthly expenses, evidence of recent income, etc. It is important that the Financial Statement be complete and accurate and should be reviewed by an attorney.
Where Can You Find the Right Lawyer?
Divorce actions tend to be some of the most contentious legal cases and alimony awards can be quite significant. It is important to have a skilled attorney to advocate for you in this process. If you are looking for an attorney to help you with your alimony related issues, then contact a local Michigan family lawyer today.