Oakland County Alimony & Spousal Support Lawyer
The break-up of a marriage is always stressful. No one goes into a marriage expecting to get a divorce. And the financial effects of a divorce can be just as devastating as the emotional toll. The role of your divorce attorney is extremely important – they advise and counsel you so that you understand all your options and make decisions that are right for you. When necessary, your divorce attorney advocates & negotiates aggressively for you, to make sure your rights are always protected, and to ensure that you get the best possible results.
Choosing a divorce attorney is an extremely personal decision. You need to choose an attorney who is highly experienced in divorce law – and who has years of experience dealing with the financial implications of spousal support and alimony. Experienced divorce attorney Starla Zehr has successfully represented hundreds of men & women in their divorces & alimony matters.
Starla offers caring, compassionate advice & aggressive representation at affordable rates. Call Starla today for a free, confidential consultation.
Understanding Michigan Alimony & Spousal Support Law
Decades ago, when most women did not work outside the home, Michigan Courts routinely awarded alimony to be paid by the husband to the wife. Now, since many families have dual income earners, Michigan Courts tend to focus their spousal analysis upon “rehabilitative alimony” . This means that alimony is awarded is an attempt to restore the spouse that has insufficient income to a financial status to allow a reasonable transition for both households. In other words, alimony (spousal support) is no longer “just for women” – and it is never “automatically” awarded.
However, it is still generally more common for the Court to order a husband to pay spousal support to the wife, even though spousal support is gender neutral,. Either party may be ordered to pay alimony for suitable support for the other party who may have insufficient income for their financial needs. The judge has the statutory authority to award spousal support that he or she believes is “just and reasonable” after consideration of “the ability of either party to pay, and the character and situation of the parties, and all the other circumstances of the case.”
Factors the Judge looks at in awarding Spousal Support (Alimony):
- The length of the marriage;
- The parties’ contributions to the marriage;
- The parties’ ability to work;*
- The spouse’s ability to pay;
- The parties’ ages;
- The parties’ health or disabilities;
- The parties’ station in life or style of living;
- The party’s necessities and circumstances; and,
- The parties’ respective earning abilities.
* NOTE: When determining a spouse’s “ability to work” the court will also consider the following sources of income: earnings, unemployment benefits, severance packages, disability, and the unexercised ability to earn if income is voluntarily reduced to avoid paying support based upon an analysis of past employment history, reasons for job termination, and legally provable available work opportunities and due diligence in trying to find employment.
In determining Spousal Support, the Court will also consider: Waterford Lawyers
- The past relations and conduct of the parties. How the parties conducted themselves during their marriage as well as fault in the breakdown of the marriage is a consideration by the Court. Fault is only one factor and will not be assigned disproportionate weight, including legally provable factors contributing to the divorce such as infidelity, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, gambling, financial dissipation of assets.
- The present situation of the parties. The Court shall consider the property award granted to both parties and whether it will be sufficient for their respective needs. General principles of equity are weighed, including whether either party is responsible for the support of others.
“No Fault Divorce” and Alimony in Michigan: Clarkston Lawyers
Michigan is a “No Fault” divorce state, which means that “fault” (such as infidelity) is not considered in granting the divorce. But, “fault” (such as the parties’ behaviors contributing to the divorce, including infidelity) may be taken into consideration by the Judge in determining Spousal Support.
Because the Court relies on a complicated and often subjective set of factors in determining if Spousal Support will be awarded, it is essential to hire an aggressive and experienced divorce attorney to fight for your rights, so you obtain the Spousal Support arrangement that you deserve.
An experienced lawyer can look at all of the factors that apply to your situation and effectively present a strong legal case for or against Spousal Support to the Court. But, since there is no longer liberal “alimony”, without a skilled lawyer who understands support law, it is unlikely that you will be able to obtain the results you desire.
We have successfully obtained Spousal Support results for our clients in literally hundreds of divorce cases. Call us today, and we will use our years of experience and our extensive legal knowledge to fight for you.
Experienced Oakland County Divorce Attorney Starla Zehr Can Help You
Experienced divorce attorney Starla Zehr has successfully represented hundreds of individuals in their divorces and spousal support matters. She will offer you compassionate advice and aggressive representation at affordable rates, to ensure that your rights are always protected. Call Starla for a free, confidential consultation today.