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Understanding spousal support orders

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2022 | Alimony

In the area of divorce, most people are quite familiar with the concept of child support for minors produced during the course of a marriage, but not everyone is as conversant on the subject of spousal support orders and the circumstances under which they are made. As such, anyone contemplating a marital split in Michigan should attempt to gain an understanding of how matters of this nature are regularly handled by the courts.

Seeking an order of spousal support

Spousal support in divorce, alimony, exists to assist one soon-to-be-ex marital partner with his or her monetary needs during or after a divorce and is often awarded when the potential recipient of the funds is, for one reason or another, unable to immediately meet their full range of financial obligations. As such, there are several points along the path to divorce in which an order for such help may be sought. Awards of spousal support can be made:

  • Upon entry of divorce judgement
  • Upon default judgment, provided sufficient evidence is provided by requesting party
  • During divorce proceedings (on a temporary basis)
  • By mutual consent of the parties

Determinations of support amounts

While the notion of spousal support decrees can sometimes be very contentious among adversarial soon-to-be-former partners, courts look to a number of factors in order to establish whether and what amount of financial assistance is required. These include things such as the duration of the union, the respective ages of the spouses, the career status of each partner, financial resources, financial need and prior conduct of those involved.

Given the fact that divorce almost always entails serious financial upheaval, particularly one occurring after many years of marriage in which one spouse has earned significantly less than the other, it behooves anyone planning a split to learn all they can about when, how and why they might choose to seek a support order from the court.