At Thacker Sleight, we are family law lawyers, negotiators, litigators, and problem solvers. We have a reputation of being fearless, meticulous, and thorough in our approach of life’s unexpected challenges. We never stop, it’s how we work, and why we get results.
Decades of Experience Advocating for Spouses in St. Joseph, Kent County, Ottawa County, Montcalm County, and Beyond
When a marriage dissolves, the law allows either spouse to petition for spousal support, also called alimony. However, just like with other decisions that must be worked out when a couple separates, the ultimate decision as to whether or not a spouse will be required to pay spousal support will be determined by a judge based on several factors.
Our Grand Rapids spousal support attorneys at Thacker Sleight can take a closer look at your case to determine whether you are eligible to request spousal support or whether you are the spouse expected to pay. We have been advocating for spouses for over 50 years, and we will strategize a strong case for you based on your needs and goals for your post-divorce life.
Four Types of Spousal Support
Michigan offers four different types of spousal support depending on the requesting spouse’s needs and the other spouse’s ability to pay:
- Temporary support: Temporary support is paid during the pending divorce process and terminates once the divorce is final.
- Rehabilitative support: Rehabilitative support is designed to last until the receiving spouse becomes able to support themselves financially.
- Permanent support: Permanent support is rarely granted and lasts until the death of either spouse or until the receiving spouse remarries or begins living with another person. Permanent support is usually awarded in situations where the receiving spouse is unable to become self-supporting due to old age, a long-term illness, or disability.
- Reimbursement support: Reimbursement is designed to repay a spouse for specific expenses they helped to provide during the marriage, such as the cost of the other spouse’s education or training programs.
Who Can Obtain Spousal Support?
Either spouse can request spousal support, but a judge will consider the following factors when deciding whether to award support:
- The financial situation and income of each spouse
- The needs of each spouse
- The health and age of each spouse
- Each spouse’s ability to work
- Each spouse’s past relations and conduct
- Whether one spouse’s conduct caused the divorce
- The source and amount of property awarded to each spouse in the property division agreement
- Each spouse’s contribution to the marital estate
- Each spouse’s prior standard of living
- Whether cohabitation with someone else affects one spouse’s financial status
- Other relevant factors impacting equity
The above factors will also help to determine the type and duration of spousal support that will be awarded. If you are contemplating divorce, it is critical that you contact an experienced lawyer who will explain the factors the court may consider in determining whether to order support payments, including the implications of modifiable versus non-modifiable support payments.
Divorce proceedings are emotional, complicated, and expensive. Our spousal support team at Thacker Sleight has years of experience successfully representing clients in family court who are seeking spousal support or trying to understand spousal support minimization better. We will advocate for you at every step!