Alimony, or spousal support, in Michigan serves an important role. It allows divorcing couples the ability to remain financially stable after their divorce.
The alimony you receive from your former spouse can allow you to pay your rent or mortgage, bills and any other expenses that you may otherwise not be able to afford on one income. If you are not working, alimony can help you pay for things while you look for a job or pursue educational opportunities.
Permanent alimony is only awarded in certain situations
One of the biggest questions you will likely ask when you learn you are going to receive alimony is how long it will last. While you would probably be happy if it lasted forever, permanent alimony in today’s world is rare.
The only time permanent alimony is generally awarded is in long-term marriages where the person receiving it is over 60 years old. Even in those cases, it is not guaranteed, it is just more likely.
Your alimony is probably going to have an end date. When this date is depends on your specific life situation.
You may need time to become financially independent
If your earning capacity right now would not allow you to make the same amount of money as you would receive with your alimony payments, your alimony might last until you have enough time to get a college degree or update your job skills.
A judge will not give you more time than is necessary to do these things. For example, if you agree that your alimony will end when you earn your bachelor’s degree, you should not intentionally take one class per semester, so it will take you several years to earn your degree.
The duration of your alimony could also be decided based on other factors, such as when you remarry or when one of you dies. You could agree, or the judge could order, that alimony only be paid up to a certain amount, and once that amount is reached, it terminates.
You can try asking for a change to your alimony terms, but you must prove a change of circumstances justifying the change.
Whenever you are negotiating alimony terms, having professional advice is helpful. Knowing your options and realistic outcomes can allow you to make the best choices moving forward.