It would be ideal to get a Yes or No response to this type of closed-end question, but the truth is that numerous factors prevent a simple answer. The basics of Michigan’s alimony statute provide that a party can request it, and a court may award spousal support when appropriate to provide for the financial needs of a lower earning spouse. Though there are different forms of alimony, it is rare that it would ever be considered permanent and final. Instead, the arrangement is based upon the recipient’s need and the payor’s ability to pay. As a result, you can expect that various scenarios, including remarriage, would impact spousal support.
If you are in a relationship and considering remarrying, it is essential that you consult with a Michigan spousal support attorney who can advise you on what to expect. Plus, anyone receiving or paying alimony should have a full understanding about how certain events trigger changes to their court order. The following information provides insight on what happens to spousal support in various scenarios.
Default Michigan Alimony Laws and Exceptions
According to the statute, the obligation to pay spousal support ends when the recipient remarries. The underlying assumption about alimony is that the financially dependent party is unable to be self-supporting in a single living arrangement; when sharing a household as a married couple with a new partner, that need dissolves.
There is an exception to the statutory default rule on remarriage ending alimony when the parties have an agreement to the contrary. For instance, parties may execute a prenuptial agreement or divorce settlement that includes specific provisions on how spousal support terminates. Unless it is unfair or fraudulent, the court will typically enforce an agreement on alimony.
Other Circumstances That May Terminate Spousal Support
Aside from the statute and marital agreements, there are multiple scenarios that may lead alimony to end. The payor may seek to modify spousal support based upon a change in either party’s circumstances. Therefore, keep in mind:
- Because the need for alimony is presumed to dissolve when you share a home with another person, you could lose alimony on the grounds of cohabitation.
- If your ex involuntarily loses employment or other source of income, the court may terminate spousal support for inability to pay. Alimony may also cease if the payor’s financial situation changes because of support obligations to children.
- Periodic alimony, the most common type of spousal maintenance in Michigan, is intended to provide support while a lower earning party gains the skills, education, and training to become self-sufficient. It may be awarded on a short- or long-term basis, but the duration is not as crucial as the recipient’s ability to earn an income. When income increases significantly, support may terminate.
Get Additional Details from a Skilled Michigan Alimony Lawyer
For more information on what happens to spousal support if you remarry, please contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins to speak to a member of our team. We can schedule a consultation to review your circumstances and explain Michigan alimony laws.