Brighton Divorce Lawyer
The Law Office of David G. Johnson located in Brighton, Michigan
Challenges of Spousal Support
Generally, when one party requests alimony, the court will consider the need of the spouse seeking alimony and the ability of the other spouse to pay.
What a Judge Considers in Spousal Support
The first question the judge will consider is, “Does the recipient have enough money to live on?” In both countries, the spouse who asks for support is required to seek economic self-sufficiency. The judge will look at the individual’s ability to earn income and the marital and separate assets of the spouse seeking support to determine if he or she can use these assets as a source of support.
The best approach to prove need is to prepare a detailed budget to establish the amount needed for spousal support.
ABILITY TO PAY
The judge will decide how much the payor can afford to pay and still have enough to live in his or her accustomed standard of living. To determine one spouse’s ability to pay, the judge will add back discretionary savings (such as contributions to retirement plans and automatic withholding to savings accounts, bonds, and employer stock purchase programs).
LENGTH OF MARRIAGE
The length of the marriage is also a consideration when the judge awards spousal support. If the marriage only lasted for two years, it is unlikely that the judge would award permanent spousal support to one spouse. The judge may not award spousal support at
STANDARD OF LIVING
The judge will also consider the couple’s standard of living during the marriage.
AGE AND HEALTH OF BOTH SPOUSES
Another consideration is the age and health of both spouses. Is either disabled or retired? If so, are they receiving a permanent income stream? If one spouse is 50 or older, and has never worked, he or she will have a difficult time finding employment. Spousal support will have to be awarded.
DURATION OF SPOUSAL SUPPORT
Spousal support may be awarded for a specified time period, or it may continue until it is modified or terminated. Some judges have a rule of thumb that they will award spousal support for half the number of years of the marriage.
Spousal support generally ends upon the death of either
“Mr. Johnson had worked with me on my divorce case involving myself and my 2 minor children. I always felt like he was on my side, and looking out for the best interest of myself as well as my children. He understands the importance of family and that is paramount in how he handles family cases.”