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What factors are considered when courts determine spousal support?

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2022 | Divorce |

If you are in the midst of getting a divorce, you may feel concerned that a court will not award you enough spousal support to maintain your current lifestyle. Alternatively, you may worry that you will pay more than you feel is fair to your ex.

In Michigan, several factors impact the amount of spousal support one party must pay the other in a divorce. Here is an overview of the main elements.

1. Length of the marriage

If you only married a short time ago, a court will likely not award either party spousal support. However, in lengthier marriages, the party who earned the higher income could face paying for many years. In more rare cases, a judge will determine that one spouse will make payments to the other permanently.

2. Difference between spousal income

When each spouse earns relatively close to the same amount the other earns, it becomes less likely that a court will find spousal support necessary. However, if one spouse earns significantly less than the other, things change. This is especially true if one party is no longer capable of working and earning an income.

3. Each party’s conduct throughout the marriage

The judge assigned to your case will likely consider if one spouse caused the marriage to dissolve. While this alone does not guarantee an award of spousal support, it can play a part in the judge’s decision.

Judges have discretion when it comes to awarding one spouse to pay the other support in Michigan, but they consider the same general factors with each case.