Spousal support and maintenance are legal terms that many people know more commonly as “alimony” in Michigan divorce cases. In general, courts may award spousal support to lower-earning spouses when they are unable to sufficiently support themselves after a divorce. However, considering that divorce cases can take months, or even up to a year, to work through the court system, many spouses have concerns about their finances while the matter is pending. When you no longer share a household with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, your income may not go as far as it did when you had two people contributing.
Fortunately, state law allows you to seek interim spousal support while your case is proceeding. A Michigan divorce lawyer can tell you more about this type of temporary alimony and whether it may be an option in your situation.
Overview of Spousal Support
The point of spousal support is to make sure both spouses can continue their styles of living and lifestyles when going through a divorce and after the process is complete. A judge typically issues an order for alimony where one spouse would otherwise face financial challenges without some monetary support. There is no specific rule of law on whether or how much a court will order one party to pay spousal support to the other, so these matters are determined on a case-by-case basis.
Seeking Interim Spousal Support
You can request alimony as part of a final divorce decree, but it’s also possible to obtain a temporary or interim order of support during the divorce process. The process begins by filing a verified motion, where you sign statements under oath regarding your need for financial support. Procedural rules require you to provide proper notice and then the court will conduct a hearing for you to present evidence in support of your of your claim and for your spouse to contest various issues, if applicable.
Factors for Interim Spousal Support
A judge will consider many of the same factors in a request for temporary alimony as would be applicable in a final divorce decree, including:
- The length of the marriage;
- Whether you’re able to earn an income necessary to support a household;
- The liquidity of any real or personal property;
- Whether you can gain training or education to acquire appropriate employment;
- The amount that your spouse can reasonably be expected to contribute to temporary spousal support; and,
- Other considerations in the discretion of the court.
Consult with a Skilled Michigan Spousal Support Attorney
It may be suitable to request interim spousal support in a Michigan divorce case, but obtaining this type of financial assistance is by no means a sure thing. You must file a motion and supporting documentation to show that temporary alimony is appropriate, and it’s possible – perhaps quite likely – that your spouse will fight your request every step of the way. Therefore, it’s critical to retain an experienced divorce attorney with extensive knowledge about the legal standards and rules under Michigan law. At the Bloomfield Hills, MI Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins, our attorneys have represented many clients seeking different types of spousal support. Please contact us to speak with a lawyer about your options.