Spousal support, also called alimony, is money paid to one’s former spouse for his or her support. Courts in Michigan consider the following factors in awarding alimony:

  1. The past relations and conduct of the parties (fault);
  2. The length of the marriage;
  3. The ability of the parties to work and their income;
  4. The source and amount of property awarded to the parties;
  5. The ability of the parties to pay alimony;
  6. The present situation of the parties;
  7. The needs of the parties;
  8. The health of the parties;
  9. The prior standard of living of the parties and whether either is responsible for the support of others; and
  10. The age and educational level of the person claiming spousal support.

A judgment of divorce must award alimony, expressly reserve the question, or state that neither party is entitled to alimony. Alimony may be modified on a showing of a change in circumstances that warrants modification, unless your judgment indicates that alimony is non-modifiable. Alimony is usually paid through the Friend of the Court office but may be a direct payment if the parties agree. Contact the expert Muskegon family law attorneys and divorce lawyers at Gielow Groom Terpstra & McEvoy’s local Muskegon law firm for additional information or assistance with an alimony dispute in Muskegon, Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Grand Rapids, or elsewhere in West Michigan.