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Common Misconceptions About Spousal Support in Michigan

by | Aug 10, 2021 | Uncategorized |

If you are getting divorced in Michigan, the chances are good that you have heard a wide variety of myths and misconceptions about spousal support or alimony under Michigan law. From reporting information about spousal maintenance from other states that is inapplicable in Michigan to simply asserting alleged facts that were never true or were true only decades ago, sources such as the internet, your friends, and your family members may provide you with misinformation when it comes to spousal support in Michigan. Our Michigan divorce lawyers want to make sure you know the facts when it comes to support or alimony in a Michigan divorce.

Misconception: Spousal Support is Awarded in All Divorces

Many people assume that spousal support is awarded in all divorces, and that there is no need to request it or even to show that the party who may need the support requires these payments. This is a common misconception. It is critical to understand that Michigan courts certainly do not award spousal support in all divorce cases, and they certainly do not award it automatically. In order for a divorce court to award support or maintenance, the spouse seeking the support must demonstrate to the court that support is appropriate given the parties’ circumstances.

Misconception: Spousal Support Lasts for Life

While permanent alimony may be awarded in select Michigan divorces, you should know that this is certainly not the norm. Generally speaking, spousal support will only last for a specific duration of time until the receiving spouse is able to obtain the necessary education or training in order to begin supporting himself or herself without assistance from the paying spouse. When marriages are especially long, and when the divorcing parties are older adults, then long-term or even permanent support may be appropriate.

Misconception: Spousal Support Payments are Half the Paying Spouse’s Income

A paying spouse will not provide half of his or her income to the receiving spouse, and it is important to know that there is no objective percentage of a paying spouse’s income that is awarded for spousal maintenance. Rather, a Michigan court will look at a wide variety of factors to determine what amount of spousal support is appropriate under the particular parties’ circumstances.

Misconception: Receiving Spouse Pays Taxes on Support or Alimony

Until relatively recently, the receiving spouse did pay taxes on the alimony she or he received. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed this. Now, for divorces in Michigan in which spousal support is awarded, the paying spouse will not be able to deduct the amount paid in spousal support and the receiving spouse will not pay taxes on the amount received.

Seek Advice About Spousal Support From Our Michigan Divorce Lawyers

Whether you are planning to seek spousal support in your divorce case or you have concerns about paying it, an experienced Michigan divorce lawyer at our firm can answer any questions you have today. While spousal support is common in Michigan divorces, you should not assume that spousal support will be awarded and you also should not assume that spousal support can make or break your future well-being. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins for more information about Michigan alimony.