Did You Know? The Truth About Spousal Support in Michigan (Pt 2)

Spousal support, or alimony, comes in several different varieties – do you know all three?


Welcome back and thanks for joining us. We’ve been discussing spousal support (also known as alimony) in Michigan, and trying to give our readers a rough overview of everything this subject involves. It’s a complex subject, so we’re just aiming to


In the previous segment, we talked about what exactly spousal support is, and the factors used by the court to determine the amounts in each case. In this segment we are going to be looking at the types of spousal support available to divorcing couples.


Spousal support, or alimony, usually takes one of three forms, namely “alimony in gross“, “permanent or long term support“, and “rehabilitative support.” Each one is different, and has different implications for the former couple involved. Here’s how they break down…


Alimony in Gross:


This type of alimony is sometimes called “lump-sum” spousal support. And just like it’s name suggests, this type of support refers to a situation where the payer makes payment in the form of a single, large amount. This is often made in lieu of a property settlement. The amount is usually meant to reflect what the periodic payments would have totaled over time.


Permanent or Long Term Support:


This type of alimony is often awarded in a situation where the couple was married for a long time. It is also relatively common if the receiving spouse has a health condition that makes it impossible for them to work, which means they can’t earn an income of their own.


This alimony usually happens in the form of fixed payments that are made on a schedule, usually monthly, and sometimes annually. Also, permanent payment will continue until the recipient remarries, or until the payer or payee dies. However, while this type of spousal support is essentially set for life, there are a few circumstances that could affect the amount paid.


For example, if the receiver chose to live with another partner who contributed to their financial needs, the court would consider adjusting the amount. Also, if the receiver got a lump sum of money, for example through lottery winnings or an inheritance, the court may consider adjusting the support payment. Conversely, if the payer lost their job, or took a lower paying job, the court would review the situation and likely adjust the amount paid.


Rehabilitative Alimony:


A rehabilitative settlement is intended to allow a former spouse the opportunity to have income while they go to school or seek employment that will allow them to become financially independent. This is usually the type of payment that would be awarded to a stay-at-home parent, who needs some time before becoming fully self sufficient.


Usually this type of alimony is awarded with a fixed time period. It can be revisited when the allotted time period is over if there are circumstances warranting extension, like illness or incapacity.


If you’re considering divorce, and have questions about spousal support, please call us as soon as possible at 866 766 5245. Our experienced family law attorneys can help you navigate these tricky waters, and help you to secure a good future for your family.