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Understanding and Calculating Alimony in Michigan

Understanding and Calculating Alimony in Michigan

05 / April 2022

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Understanding and Calculating Alimony in Michigan

When spouses in Michigan get divorced, one of the parties may be able to seek spousal support, which is also known as alimony or spousal maintenance. Whether you have questions about your requirement to pay alimony, or you need assistance seeking alimony, one of our Michigan divorce attorneys can speak with you today about your circumstances.

Alimony or Spousal Support Under Michigan Law

Under Michigan law, in an action for divorce or separation, the court may order either spouse to pay alimony, based on a number of factors, both after the divorce is final and during the proceedings. The statute also clarifies that the court can cancel alimony if the receiving spouse gets remarried.

In other words, the court can order that one of the spouses provide alimony or support for the other spouse during the divorce case and afterward, and the court can terminate alimony once the receiving party remarries. Alimony or spousal support is designed to ensure that the receiving spouse is able to meet his or her financial needs during the divorce case and after the divorce is finalized.

Calculating the Duration and Amount of Alimony or Spousal Support in Michigan

Michigan law clarifies that spousal support amount and duration will depend upon the particular facts of the case. In order for a court to reach the question of the amount and duration of support, the party seeking alimony must first request it, and then the court must determine that a support award is appropriate and fair under the circumstances. Generally speaking, when spousal support is determined to be appropriate, it can be paid in one of the following ways:

  • Temporary support;
  • Periodic support;
  • Permanent support; or
  • Gross, or lump-sum support.

There is no specific formula in Michigan for calculating spousal support or alimony, and courts can consider a wide variety of factors in determining the appropriate amount and duration, such as:

  • Length of the marriage;
  • Ability of each spouse to work;
  • Spouses’ past conduct;
  • Property awarded to each spouse through property distribution in the divorce;
  • Age of each party;
  • Health of each party;
  • Financial circumstances and needs of each party;
  • Standard of living established during the marriage; and
  • Each party’s contribution to the marriage.

Alimony Taxation in Michigan

Under relatively recent changes to U.S. tax law, the way in which alimony or support payments are taxed has changed. The party who pays alimony will have to pay taxes on that amount, while the party receiving alimony will not have to count it as income and will not have to pay taxes on it. Formerly, the party receiving alimony was the spouse who paid taxes on the amount received.

Contact Our Michigan Alimony Attorneys Today

If you need assistance with alimony, including modifications of existing support awards, one of our Michigan divorce lawyers can assist you. Contact Iafrate & Salassa, P.C. for more information about spousal support in Michigan.

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