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Factors considered when requesting alimony in a divorce

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2020 | Divorce |

Although money cannot buy happiness, it can help provide a newly divorce spouse with the ability to meet his or her needs. When one spouse makes all or most of the household income, the lesser earning spouse can take a major financial hit because of divorce. As a pragmatic means to address this financial disadvantage, a spouse may request alimony in the divorce process.

Seeking alimony, which is also referred to as spousal support, can be a very vital step for Michigan spouses to take in the divorce proceedings. Not all spouses can leave a marriage knowing that they can begin their new single life without financial woes. For some, being a caregiver was their role in the family. He or she stayed home with the children and cared for the home while the other spouse made the income for the family. In this situation, the caregiver spouse was entirely financially reliant on their spouse.

Even when both spouses work, it is the higher earning spouse that contributed to their standard of living during the marriage. A divorce filing does not mean that the lower earning spouse can no longer continue this standard of living. Alimony can help a spouse maintain this standard of living whether they worked or not during the marriage.

When requesting alimony, certain factors are considered by the court when ordering this financial support. To begin, the age, physical condition, emotional state and financial condition of each spouse are assessed. For the spouse requesting spousal support, the length of time he or she would require to obtain an education or training to become self-sufficient is calculated. Finally, the standard of living experienced during the marriage, the length or the marriage and the ability for the other spouse to support the recipient spouse and him or herself is evaluated.

Alimony, if awarded, could last for varying durations. In some cases, it could be permanent, meaning it will not end unless he or she remarries or dies. Often times, alimony is considered to be rehabilitative, which signals that it will remain in effect as long as it is necessary for the recipient spouse to receive an education or training and become self-supporting.

While it was typically the woman that would seek alimony from the man, this is an outdated thought. Both men and women can seek alimony from a former spouse. Thus, when seeking this financial support during dissolution, it is important to understand what rights and options you have in order to arrive at a favorable result.