Welcome back and thanks for joining us again for this look at alimony in Michigan, and what you can expect after you get divorced. As we pointed out in the previous article, Michigan doesn’t have a nice, neat equation for figuring out spousal support the way they do for child support. Which means that each situation is handled individually, although Judges do have a list of factors they can refer to in making that determination.
What forms do alimony payments usually take in Michigan?
Alimony, sometimes called ‘spousal support’, usually takes one of four forms here in Michigan, namely “lump-sum“, “permanent periodic“, “rehabilitative” or “reimbursement” payments.
Permanent Periodic payments:
A permanent periodic payment is the most common form of spousal support awarded by the court. This happens in the form of fixed payments made on a schedule, usually made monthly but sometimes annually. This type of payment is normally modifiable if the spouse who wants to modify it can prove that there’s been a significant change in their circumstances. In fact ,if the alimony is decided by a judge rather than negotiated by the parties as a part of their overall divorce settlement, the court has to order that alimony is modifiable when circumstances change. (Michigan family courts aren’t authorized to order alimony that isn’t modifiable.)
A rehabilitative settlement is intended to give a former spouse the opportunity to have income while they go to school or look for work. This is usually the type of payment that would be given to a stay-at-home parent, usually for a fixed period of time, who needs some time before becoming fully self sufficient.
Just like it’s name suggests, “lump-sum” spousal support is when one spouse has to pay spousal support in the form of a single, large amount. This is often made instead of a property settlement. The amount is meant to reflect what the periodic payments would have added up to over time.
A reimbursement payment is usually awarded to a spouse who supported their partner during a period of schooling or training for a job, and were left behind when that period was over. (Imagine supporting your spouse while they attend nursing school full time for two years, and then when they get their certification, they file for divorce!) Having worked two jobs to support a spouse in school is very likely to result in rehabilitative support payments. Judges often don’t look kindly on people who seem to have ‘used’ a spouse to meet their own needs.
Alimony should always be determined with help from a skilled family lawyer!
Divorce is always a difficult process, and spousal support orders only add to the complications. There is so much at stake in divorce, which is why you shouldn’t try to deal with alimony issues on your own. Hiring a skilled attorney to advocate for you, and help you come to a fair arrangement, always results in a better outcome for everyone involved. So call The Kronzek Firm today, at 866 766 51245, and talk to someone who can help you. Our experienced family law attorneys are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you plan and prepare for your future.