Factors that decrease the likelihood of receiving alimony in a Michigan divorce
Figuring out how to transition after divorce is just one of the many uncertainties when untangling two lives. Alimony can be critical in adjusting to life after divorce, helping to create a solid foundation and start a new life. If you are in a situation where you hope to receive alimony, there are a few factors you should understand regarding your alimony options.
How Alimony Is Determined
Unlike child support, alimony is on a case-by-case basis. When spousal support is needed to make sure both parties are taken care of, alimony will be ordered as a way to balance the incomes of the spouses. A judge may rule in favor of spousal support if one spouse’s income is significantly lower, or that spouse is unable to support themselves. It may also be ordered if one spouse will be financially worse off due to the divorce, and the other party is able to make up the difference.
Amicable Divorce Proceedings
It is important to remember that you do not have to leave the decision in the hands of a judge. Like child support, alimony can be kept out of the courts if the two parting spouses can come to an agreement. Alimony is considered a division of overall property, so it would be up to the spouses to determine financial dependence and disadvantage as well as the amount and frequency of support payments.
When To Take It To A Judge
As much as divorcing partners would like to remain harmonious, divorce often becomes hostile and unfriendly. In these cases, a spousal support decision should be brought to a judge. The courts generally award spousal support in situations where the divorce puts one party at a financial disadvantage. That said, there are factors that can make it less likely for a judge to award alimony.
Marital Misconduct – If the spouse requesting alimony was at fault in the breakdown of the marriage, it may come up when determining spousal support.
Short Marriages – Spousal support is more often awarded in longer marriages versus short, seemingly trivial unions.
Employability – The judge is less likely to award alimony if the spouse requesting support is able to work but simply unwilling.
Age of the Spouses – If a spouse is retired and living on a fixed income, that could weigh against awarding spousal support. This is especially true if the spouse who’d receive support is younger than retirement age.
Cohabitation – If the spouse with less financial means is living with a new partner, chances are the courts will assume this improves their financial status and will be less likely to award additional support.
Not Having Children – It may be assumed that a couple without children has more expendable income and thus does not need support.
Substantial Division of Property – If once the assets are divided, both spouses are awarded adequate cash or liquid assets, the courts may see less need for support.
Seeking spousal support is never easy. If you think you might qualify for alimony, or simply have questions about the process, contact The Gucciardo Law Firm for guidance.
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