Securing a strong financial foundation after divorce is essential. Figuring out how to maintain that foundation can be a bit scary, though. Household income might be drastically reduced or, in the case of a spouse who was not employed, completely nonexistent. This can be a scary prospect that even holds some people back from filing for divorce in the first place. However, alimony -- which is an important part of Michigan family law -- can help ease some of these fears.
Alimony is also commonly referred to as spousal support. It is paid from one person to the ex-spouse during and/or after a divorce and is intended to help balance any unfair economic advantages. This is often seen in marriages where one spouse earned significantly more than the other, or when one parent took time off work to focus on raising the couple's children. Support might also help maintain the marital standard of living to which one person had become accustomed.
Figuring out how much alimony is appropriate is not necessarily as straightforward as child support. Some couples decide the amount between themselves, while others leave the decision up to a judge. If a judge is deciding, he or she will take a variety of factors into account. Things like the length of the marriage, education levels of both spouses, current and potential earning capacities and more will all factor into the decision.
While alimony does factor into many divorces in Michigan, it is not a given. Even for those who do end up receiving alimony, the period of time for which they receive these monthly payments can vary significantly. Alimony is an important stabilizing feature of family law, so those who are trying to figure things out or who need a modification to a current order may want to consider speaking with an attorney who is experienced in these types of matters.