Spousal Support is an issue that is incredibly
The parties themselves may agree that Spousal Support
should be paid, or, one party may request that the court order Spousal Support. For these reasons, it is incredibly difficult to say with any degree of certainty based on any one factor, whether your specific circumstances justify a spousal support award. Put another way, the court considers 11 relevant factors when determining whether a Spousal Support award is appropriate. These factors are outlined in Sparks v Sparks, 440 Mich 141, 458 NW2d 893 (1992), and are as follows:
- The past relations and conduct of the parties;
- The length of the marriage;
- The ability of the parties to work;
- The source and amount of property awarded to the parties;
- The age of the parties;
- The present situation of the parties;
- The needs of the parties;
- The health of the parties;
- The prior standard of living of the parties and whether either party is responsible for the support of others; and
- General principles of equity.
Spousal Support can be awarded in a variety of forms, including Periodic Alimony/Spousal Support, Alimony in Gross, or Rehabilitative Spousal Support. Periodic Alimony/Spousal Support is modifiable at any time (unless otherwise agreed) based on a change in financial circumstances of either party, and is typically taxable to the payee as income and tax deductible to the payer. Alimony in Gross is another form of Spousal Support that is awarded as a periodic payment or installment payment of a property settlement. Because this is not technically “support,” but rather a settlement of the parties’ property, such payments are not taxable to the payee nor deductible to the payer. Finally, Rehabilitative Spousal Support may be appropriate where one party was financially dependent on the other throughout the marriage and, as a
result of a divorce, must now explore an independent
career or appropriate schooling options. Often,
Rehabilitative Spousal Support is non-modifiable;
however, as a result is payable for a shorter period of time.
The issue of Spousal Support carries both tax
consequences as well as bankruptcy considerations.
Newton | Plont can discuss these considerations with
you, as well as the probability of Spousal Support being a
reality in your case.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation.