Labre Law Office | Family Law & Criminal Defense Lawyer | Edwardsburg, MI

Spousal Support

LaBre Law Office will represent you in all facets of spousal support, with excellence as our standard.

Alimony/Spousal Support in Edwardsburg, Michigan

Facing divorce can be an intimidating experience, regardless of how long you’ve been married. In addition to that, the uncertainty of transitioning from a two-income household to a single income can add to your stress. That’s why having a trusted legal team by your side to help ease your worries about alimony, also called spousal support, is vital. Our experienced alimony attorneys are ready to offer you compassionate and reliable legal support during this challenging time.

The Three Forms of Alimony/Spousal Support in Michigan

Michigan’s alimony/spousal support laws offer three distinct alimony options: alimony in gross, permanent alimony, and rehabilitative alimony.

  • Alimony in gross/lump sum alimony — property division payable through a lump-sum or fixed periodic payments. This type of spousal support cannot be modified.
  • Permanent Alimony— provides financial assistance to a dependent spouse permanently. This type of alimony is customary, especially if the marriage was long term.
  • Rehabilitative Alimony— helps a spouse get back on their feet and provide for his/her economic needs while he/she is unable to do so. This type of support can help a spouse obtain full-time employment and self-sufficiency, to obtain a degree, and adjust to a lifestyle based on the new economic realities following divorce.

Alimony is a complex aspect of the divorce process, best navigated with the assistance of a seasoned alimony attorney. At LaBre Law Office, we are committed to offering you a positive experience while seamlessly handling the meticulous details.

How Is Alimony/Spousal Support Determined?

At LaBre Law Office, our experienced alimony attorneys will listen to comprehend your unique circumstances and devise the most favorable alimony solution for you. Several pivotal factors influence the decision about a spouse receiving alimony/spousal support, including:

  • The lifestyle maintained during the marriage
  • Length of the marriage
  • Financial assets and resources
  • Earning potential and job skills
  • Contributions made to the marriage
  • Dependents, notably children
  • Sources of income

You can rely on the knowledgeable alimony attorneys at LaBre Law Office to guide you through the process of seeking alimony/spousal support. We will review all available alimony options before making any decisions. Once an alimony award is granted, unless it is alimony in gross, it can be modified for justified reasons, such as a substantial change in circumstances or if a former spouse has remarried.

The Purpose of Alimony/Spousal Support

Alimony/spousal support addresses any unfair economic effects that may arise from a divorce or separation. It provides financial assistance to a spouse who has little or no income, did not work during the marriage, and has limited earning capacity, to help them maintain a certain standard of living and resolve economic disparities between the parties involved. Alimony/spousal support seeks to prevent one spouse from suffering financially due to the end of the marriage.

While the purpose of alimony/spousal support can vary depending on the circumstances of the case, the overarching goal remains to provide financial support to the economically disadvantaged spouse.

Is Fault a Determining Factor in Alimony/Spousal Support?

In many states, including Michigan, alimony/spousal support is no longer tied to fault, meaning, fault is not the primary factor considered when determining alimony awards. Because it is a “no-fault” divorce state, the breakdown of the marriage is generally not a significant consideration in the determination of alimony in Michigan. However, the court may consider fault as one of many factors in specific cases.

How Long Does Alimony/Spousal Support Last?

The length of alimony/spousal support varies, depending on the specific circumstances of each case and the discretion of the court. In Michigan, there is no fixed duration or specific formula for determining how long a former spouse will receive alimony. It can range from a few years to longer if the marriage was healthy and the recipient spouse needs time to acquire job skills.

The court considers several factors when making this determination, including the length of the marriage, the financial needs and abilities of each spouse, the standard of living established during the marriage, and other relevant factors.

Courts generally award permanent spousal support in cases involving long-term marriages where one spouse cannot earn a living due to age or health issues. However, spousal support may also last for a few years or until certain conditions are met, such as the recipient spouse becoming self-supporting.

Consult an experienced Michigan alimony attorney who can assess the unique details of your case and provide guidance on the likely duration of spousal support based on the relevant factors and Michigan law.

Consequences of Failing To Pay Alimony/Spousal Support

Failure to pay alimony/spousal support in Michigan can have severe consequences. An ex-spouse in Michigan who neglects to make their alimony/spousal support payments may deal with one or more of the following repercussions:

  1. Contempt of Court: The non-paying spouse may be held in contempt of court by not paying spousal support as ordered by the court. This effort may require the filing of a motion in court.
  2. Criminal Charges: Failing to pay spousal support in Michigan is considered a crime and is punishable as a felony. The penalties can include imprisonment for up to four years or fines.
  3. Legal Actions: Non-payment of alimony can result in legal actions taken by the recipient spouse that may involve seeking enforcement through the court or pursuing other legal remedies.
  4. Fines and Penalties: The court may impose fines and penalties on the non-paying spouse for failing to meet their spousal support obligations.

The specific consequences for an ex-spouse failing to make alimony payments may vary depending on the circumstances of each case and the discretion of the court. If you are struggling to make alimony payments or cannot meet your obligations as outlined in a court order, consult an experienced Michigan spousal support attorney to guide you in making the best decisions based on your specific situation.

What are the Implications for Alimony/Spousal Support If You or Your Former Spouse Remarry?

In Michigan, the remarriage of the spouse receiving alimony can generally terminate the obligation to pay spousal support. According to Michigan law, spousal support ends when the recipient spouse remarries, based on the understanding that the financial support provided by the former spouse is no longer necessary due to the new marital relationship.

However, the termination of alimony payments upon remarriage could depend on the specific terms outlined in the divorce agreement or court order. If the divorce agreement or court order states that spousal support will continue even after remarriage, alimony payments may still be required.

If a spouse paying alimony remarries, Michigan law generally still obligates them to pay alimony to their ex-spouse. The remarriage of the paying spouse does not automatically terminate their alimony obligation under state law. The rationale behind this is that the financial support provided through alimony is separate from the paying spouse’s new marital relationship.

Keep in mind that the specific terms outlined in the divorce agreement or court order can affect the payment of alimony after remarriage. If the divorce agreement or court order explicitly states that alimony payments will cease upon the paying spouse’s remarriage, the obligation may end. However, absent such provisions, the paying spouse is generally still required to fulfill their alimony obligations.

Addressing Your Unique Circumstances to Pursue Appropriate Alimony/Spousal Support Terms

For divorcing spouses, determining the type of alimony and how long spousal support should last can become a contentious issue. If former spouses have remarried, there could be implications for spousal support payments. And if one spouse is violating a spousal support order from the court, the court may impose serious consequences. Because every divorce case and alimony award are unique, it’s best to seek the services of an experienced Michigan alimony lawyer who can advise you on the best course of action to resolve your alimony issue.

Excellence Is Our Standard. Schedule a Consultation with LaBre Law Office to Discuss Your Alimony/Spousal Support Needs and Goals

Whether you want to request alimony, have the court award alimony to you, or seek to determine whether your alimony order is still valid due to an ex-spouse’s remarriage, the seasoned alimony attorneys at LaBre Law Office are here to help. With over 43 years of combined experience, we have handled countless divorce cases involving alimony, and we have the knowledge and experience you need to resolve your alimony issue. Contact us at (269) 431-2058 or complete our online form to schedule a consultation.

At LaBre Law Office, excellence is our standard.

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Why Choose LaBre Law Office?

Our clients in the Michiana area have confidence when LaBre Law Office handles their legal issues because our general practice law firm has established a record as a trusted member of the community for over four decades, serving our neighbors:

  • Caring, aggressive advocacy for your interests in many practice areas
  • We represent clients in both Michigan and Indiana
  • Straightforward, assertive, and dependable guidance
  • Unique legal strategies tailored to each specific case
  • We fully address your concerns so you always understand your case’s status
  • We will be here for you long after your legal issue is resolved

Excellence is our standard. Call today to schedule a consultation.

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