The alimony laws governing spousal support in Michigan is different from what is obtainable in other states. Read further to grasp the peculiarity of the MI alimony law.
Also referred to as “spousal support” or “spousal maintenance” in Great Lake State, alimony is the series of payments made by one spouse (the payor spouse) to another (the supported or payee spouse) after the divorce.
Before the alimony payments commence, there has to be a written order or agreement which requires the payor to support the payee with a stipulated amount of money.
This agreement eliminates any disputes in the future about why the payment was made or when it’s not made.
All 50 states in America are alimony states, meaning states that have enacted laws permitting a spouse who cannot work full time or with a lower income to request payments from the other spouse to support themselves after a divorce.
Type of Alimony Laws Practiced in MI
Spousal support is available in Michigan in four different forms of alimony. The sort of alimony you get or your ex-spouse is made to pay is determined by the receiving spouse’s need and the other spouse’s ability to pay.
If you are eligible for support, the judge will decide what type of assistance is best for you.
Temporary Spousal Support in Michigan
Spouses who are unable to support themselves during the divorce procedure may be eligible for temporary support. When filing for divorce, any party can request temporary support, but the court will only grant it if it is reasonable.
Temporary support payments are sometimes referred to as “status quo” payments by courts. If your spouse has always been the one paying the mortgage, utility bills, and auto payments, the court may require that he or she continue to do so during the divorce proceedings.
Periodic Spousal Support in MI
The most prevalent type of support in Michigan is periodic support, which the court might give for a short time (called rehabilitative support) or for a lengthy time. When one spouse is capable of self-support but not instantly, periodic support is frequent.
In circumstances where one spouse put up a career to raise a family or support the other’s work, the court may give periodic spousal support for a length of time to allow the recipient to gain employment skills or complete a degree that will help that spouse become financially independent.
Permanent Spousal Support in Michigan
In Michigan, permanent spousal support is becoming uncommon, except for circumstances when the parties have been married for a long time and the beneficiary spouse is unable to become financially self-supporting owing to age, health, or disability.
Lump-sum (Alimony in Gross) in MI
Although uncommon, lump-sum support is permissible when one spouse can afford to cover the whole support award in one installment. Instead of money, lump-sum payments are frequently made in the form of personal or real property.
The advantage of lump-sum support is that there is no ongoing duty to pay an ex-spouse bi-weekly, monthly, or annual payments. The disadvantage is that the paying spouse will have to contribute a substantial amount of assets or a lump-sum cash payment in advance.
Who Pays Alimony in Michigan?
In the Michigan alimony statute, the spouse that makes most of the money will share that income with the other spouse. The idea behind who pays for alimony is to considerably level up the living standard of the dependent spouse to what it was while the marriage was on.
Regarding the sex that pays, alimony in Great Lake State is gender-neutral, meaning either spouse can request support from the other. As long as the alimony can be provided to the requesting spouse, then it will most likely be granted.
So a husband can receive alimony from a wife in Michigan if the above conditions are met.
How Long Does Spousal Support Last in MI?
The duration to pay alimony in Michigan can differ depending on the individual judge and circumstances. However, you should expect to pay spousal support for a duration of 80-70% of the length of the marriage lasted. So assuming you were married for 10 years, the spousal support duration will most likely be between 6 to 7 years.
As provided by the alimony laws of MI, rehabilitative and permanent support stops if either spouse dies or the supported spouse remarries.
How to Collect Spousal Support Arrears in MI
When it comes to collecting spousal support in Michigan, you have a few choices if your ex-spouse has failed to make alimony payments as ordered by the court. Debts for spousal support are frequently given priority among debtors under US law.
Factors That Influence Alimony in Michigan
The average amount payable as spousal support in Michigan after divorce is determined by various factors. But the major factor you have to understand is “the standard of living of the marriage.”
To determine the final amounts for rehabilitative and permanent support in MI, the courts in MI takes into consideration the income of the spouses, plus other factors like:
- earning capacity of each spouse.
- the ability of the paying spouse to pay, considering assets, the standard of living, earning capacity, as well as earned and unearned income.
- the extent of contribution the supported spouse gave to the other’s educational pursuit or professional license during the marriage
- how long the marriage lasted
- the needs of each spouse
- the assets and debts of each spouse including separate property
- each party’s tax consequences
- the ability of the supported spouse to gain employment without interfering with their children’s care
- each spouse’s health and age
- each party’s balance of hardships
- whether there is a documented history of domestic violence against the children or either party
- will the dependent spouse be self-supporting within a reasonable period
- any criminal conviction of an abusive spouse
- any other factors which the court wishes to consider
This is the main measure the court uses to determine the amount to be paid in Great Lake State. The principle behind the standard of living of the marriage is that after the marriage breakup, both spouses should continue living within the same standard they lived while the marriage lasted.
How Alimony is Calculated in MI
The amount to be paid as spousal support in Michigan is calculated after considering the above-stated factors. Whichever option is adopted it is reflected in the Alimony Calculator
Importance of Using a Skilled Michigan Spousal Support Attorney
If you’re getting a divorce in Michigan and need to negotiate or re-negotiate spousal support, you’ve definitely got a lot of questions and want to seek competent legal guidance. Though state Supreme Courts have supported lifetime spousal support, your circumstances may or may not fulfill the requirements. MI courts may judge your case differently based on the merits of you and your previous spouse. There are so many variables to consider.
If you want to get spousal support for the rest of your life or if you want to fight against it in Michigan, an expert divorce lawyer can help. Depending on the objective and the desire of the adversary attorney to bargain in good faith, you’ll need attorneys that are both empathetic and strong.
For the convenience of our members, we have an up-to-date directory of MI divorce and spousal support attorneys who can help with a variety of issues. For legal advice and
representation on spousal support that is powerful and well-informed.
FAQ About Michigan Alimony Laws
Here are Frequently Asked Questions about spousal support laws in MI:
Can a Husband get Alimony in MI?
Who Qualifies for Alimony in Michigan?
Just as either spouse can pay or receive, the party that qualifies to receive spousal support is the dependent party while the marriage lasted. This means that in MI, the spouse that had lesser or no income when the marriage was on is also the one qualified to receive alimony. Click here for details
How Long do you have to be Married to get Alimony in MI?
To understand how long alimony lasts in Michigan, you have to take into consideration how long the marriage lasted.
However, bear in mind that there is no limit to the duration you can pay or receive alimony for marriages that lasted 10-20 years or more. Any marriage that lasted below 20 years will not pay nor receive alimony that exceeds 50% of the duration of the marriage.
Is Alimony Tax Deductible in Michigan?
Following the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which altered the link between alimony and taxes dramatically in Michigan and all over the US, alimony payments are no longer tax deductible for the payer and are no longer recognized as income for the recipient spouse as of January 1, 2019.
Is Alimony Mandatory in Great Lake State?
Alimony is mandatory in Michigan as long as one of the spouses earns or owns assets that can be relied upon to support the other spouse after the marriage breaks down.
Can Alimony be increased in Michigan?
Alimony amount or duration can be increased or decreased due to changes in the financial circumstances of the parties in different ways, including:
- an increase or decrease in the income of the alimony recipient
- if it’s determined that the original alimony awarded is inadequate
- loss to the alimony recipient’s financial assets
- an increase in the justified expenses of the alimony recipient
- when the financial condition of the receiving spouse fails to improve as originally expected
Can you go to Jail for Not Paying Spousal Support in MI?
Technically, you will not be jailed for not paying alimony in Michigan. While there are varying consequences for not paying alimony, you can still end up in jail as a result. Here is how.
If it’s a Michigan court-ordered spousal support that you refuse to pay, it means you are in violation of a court order meaning you can be prosecuted for being in contempt of court if contempt proceedings are brought up against you. This could attract a jail term in MI}.
How to Modify Spousal Support in MI?
When necessary, Michigan law allows for a spousal support modification. When it comes to alimony, courts in MI usually try to do their best to create judgments that are fair and effective in the long run. Nevertheless, conditions change over time, and these changes may compel a revision or modification of the initial order.
When filing for a spousal support modification in Michigan, keep in mind that the courts will only entertain the motion if there has been a significant and long-term change in circumstances. A brief problem is unlikely to be significant enough to warrant a revision in the initial alimony ruling. Likewise, dissatisfaction with the support order is not a valid reason for a revision in MI.
The following are some of the most common reasons for requesting an alimony modification in Michigan:
- Changes in income or employment
- Birth of a new child
- Health changes, including disability
- A new dependent
How to Avoid or End Spousal Support in Michigan
In Great Lake State, the spouse paying the alimony can successfully avoid or stop the alimony payment if he/she is able to prove any or all of the following points:
- that the dependent spouse is guilty of infidelity
- the spouse proves that he has no source of income
- the spouse remarries and has to take care of the new spouse however, he/she will continue paying the child support for children if any
- if the spouse is disabled and unable to earn a living
Alimony Laws in all 50 States
A Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas
C California | Colorado | Connecticut
D-H Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii
I Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa
K-L Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana
M Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana
N Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota
O Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon
P-S Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota
T-U Tennessee | Texas | Utah
V-W Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming