Spousal support is awarded in Michigan when the court believes that it would be just and reasonable to provide such support. The objective of court mandated spousal support is to balance the incomes and needs of both parties in a way that will not impoverish either of them.
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A common misconception is that in order for one party to receive spousal support the marriage must have lasted for a certain amount of years. This is false; however, the court is more likely to award support for longer marriages, but there is not a specific duration that is required. When determining whether support of one party is just and reasonable, the court may consider the following factors:
The work ability of both parties
The health of each party
The age of the parties, with younger ages being less likely to get support
The length of the marriage
General principals of equity and fairness
The ability of the party to pay the support
Any past infidelity including who was at fault
The present and future needs of the parties
The present situation
The prior standard of living of the parties
The amount of other property and the source of the property being awarded to each party in the divorce
The court might also look at the contributions of each party to the marital estate and the effects cohabitation during the marriage had on each parties financial status.
Spousal support may be modified through the court when there is a sufficient change in circumstances. These circumstances, such as remarriage, are often stipulated in the original spousal support order.
For non-payment of a support order, sanctions such as contempt of court, seizure of assets, jail, or suspension of professional licenses can be imposed.