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Key elements for spousal support awards in Michigan

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During a divorce, two who have become one must become separate entities again. In certain divorce cases where one party financially supports the other, it may be necessary for such support to continue. In such cases, the judge will determine alimony.

Whether you will pay or receiving alimony, it is important you understand how it works. There are a few key elements for awarding spousal support in Michigan.


Contrary to what some individuals may believe, there is no set formula for calculating spousal support or alimony; the courts handle it on a case-by-case basis. In some instances, the ex-spouses may be able to come to an agreement on their own and the court will make it legal. However, if the two parties are not able to agree amongst themselves, the court will assist them. Though there is no official calculator, a judge may utilize a calculation process that takes into account different factors of the individual's status and lifestyle to determine a fair payment amount.


A judge reviews any evidence the parties provide and consider a variety of factors present in the case. Some of the most common factors judges look at include:

  • Spousal needs
  • Contributions to the joint estate
  • Length of the marriage
  • Current living situations
  • Ability of spouse to pay support payment
  • Health and age of each party

These and other factors contribute to the court's determination. It is critical each party present any evidence they would like the judge to consider in their case.


Michigan code 691.1302 denotes the circumstances under which modifications may occur regarding an alimony award. In short, if the receiving party gets remarried, or the party providing alimony comes under financial hardship or change, it may be possible to modify the alimony agreement.

If you are undergoing or considering a divorce, make sure you understand how spousal support determination affects you. It may be beneficial to speak with a knowledgeable attorney to learn about all your options.

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