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How Long Should You Expect to Pay Alimony in Michigan?

You may not like the prospect of paying child support following your divorce. However, most Michigan parents accept that they must financially support their children until they become adults. What is more contentious is alimony, sometimes referred to as spousal support. If you are ordered to pay spousal support, this amount would be on top of any child support ordered.

Alimony is ordered in situations when the court believes that one spouse should provide some financial support to the other. These court-ordered payments must be made in accordance with the terms set by the court.

Length of Alimony Awards in Michigan Divorce Cases

A court will generally not order alimony unless the receiving spouse has a genuine need and the payor spouse can reasonably pay. Spousal support is generally not meant to meet all of the needs of the receiving spouse. Instead, it is typically designed to supplement the recipient’s income until they can fully support themselves.

When spousal support is ordered, the court will order how long the spousal support will continue and how it will be paid. There are four general types of alimony:

Temporary Support

Temporary support is to be paid for a limited amount of time, typically during the pendency of the divorce. It is awarded upon request and a showing of necessity. If you were responsible for paying the mortgage and car payments while married, the court might order you to continue making those payments while the divorce is pending.

Periodic Support

Periodic support is spousal support paid on a regular schedule for a specific period of time. The court may order such payments to begin once the divorce is finalized and to continue for a fair amount of time. They may continue for several years if you were married for a long time and the other spouse needs time to acquire job skills needed to support themselves.

Lump-Sum Support

As an alternative to periodic support payments, the court may instead order you to pay a lump-sum payment of support to your ex-spouse. Such payments have the same purpose as alimony, generally. However, if ordered, there is no continuing duty to support your spouse beyond the one lump-sum payment.

Permanent Support

As the name implies, permanent support is an order to pay spousal support to your ex-spouse for an indefinite time period. Permanent support is usually only ordered where the marriage lasted an especially long time, where one spouse has no reasonable likelihood of ever fully supporting themselves or both.

Termination of Spousal Support Orders

No matter the type of spousal support or the duration ordered, two events will allow a spousal support order to terminate. If the receiving spouse remarries, you can petition the court to terminate the alimony order. If the receiving spouse passes away, any alimony ordered will also cease.

Talk to Gucciardo Family Law About Your Divorce

If you have questions or concerns about alimony and your divorce, Gucciardo Family Law is here to provide answers. We can help you seek spousal support to help you reestablish yourself following your divorce. If you have been ordered to pay, we can review that order and may be able to help you object to the spousal support order. Call the Gucciardo Law Firm and speak with us today.

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We focus exclusively on family law matters so we are always available to answer your questions and help.

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