How Do Michigan Family Courts Determine Temporary Spousal Support

How do Michigan family courts determine temporary spousal support?

No matter the circumstances, divorce is a stressful and often painful event. When children are part of the scenario it is tremendously more trying, with much focus placed on their best interests. In the best of cases; both parents agree, child support is determined, and everything turns out fine for a productive and amicable future.

However, while child support comes with detailed and strictly enforced formulas, spousal support has no such guidance determining which party will receive support and how much it might be. As a refresher, spousal support is ordered to ensure both parties are treated fairly after a divorce. It may be ordered if the property award does not adequately support one party, or if one party will be in financial distress after the divorce and the other spouse can assist.

Keep in mind that a judge will weigh all pertinent information when determining spousal support and will make findings on all relevant factors. One such finding is duration of support. In some cases a judge will order support to be paid in a lump sum, while other times it is paid in monthly or yearly installments. The latter is called periodic spousal support and can be temporary or permanent. Temporary support allows the party in question time to improve job skills or return to school to earn a degree, and support can continue for a pre-set number of months or years.

Spousal support issues can be contentious and complex and it is strongly suggested you consult an attorney prior to any making and decisions. For a head start, here are some details a judge will review:

Behavior of parties during the marriage—Fault alone will not determine an award of support but both spouses’ conduct plays a part in a judge’s view of who was at fault in the marriage’s breakdown.

Duration of marriage—In short, the longer a couple has been married, the likelier a judge will award spousal support, especially if one party does not have a steady career.

State of property—Most divorce proceedings include division of property, with a judge determining type and amount for each party. If it appears one of the parties will need to use the property award for everyday living expenses, a judge may award support to that party.

Living situation—If one of the spouses keeps the home and the other’s living situation flounders; a judge will consider each spouse’s income potential and career status.

Standard of living—A couple’s standard of living during marriage is a major contributor to spousal support. A judge will review the situation to determine if one or both spouses have the “right” to continue with the same quality of life after a divorce. For example, if one spouse will retain a luxurious way of life and other will not; support may be awarded to the other party.

New partners—If one of the spouses is living with someone new, a judge will closely review details to determine their influence on financial situations.

More questions on temporary spousal support? Reach out to The Gucciardo Law Firm today at 248-723-5190 to discuss your options.

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