During a marriage, couples have a certain lifestyle that they are used to living. The lifestyle they may live depends on their interests and other factors, but much of it is controlled by what they can afford. People earn different amounts of income and this can be true between couples as well. Sometimes each spouse may earn similar amounts of money and equally contribute to the couple’s finances, but other times one spouse may earn the majority of the income while the other maintains the home.

Either type of situation may work while the couple is married and sharing all the income that the couple earns. However, if only one spouse earns the majority of the income, it can become an issue if the couple ends up going through a divorce. After the divorce both spouses will no longer have equal access to money and the one who did not earn the income could be left in a difficult financial situation. In these situations, one spouse may be required to pay the other alimony or spousal support as it is also called.

Potential length of alimony obligation

There are generally two different ways that people are required to pay alimony. One is to pay it all at once in a lump sum payment. The other is to make periodic payments either monthly, yearly or some other length of time.

When people are required to make periodic payments, there will have to be an amount of time that they will need to pay it. It could be a permanent award, which means that they will pay for the other spouse’s lifetime. The other is referred to temporary payments, which means that a set period of time will be ordered. This could be a period of time the spouse will need to complete a degree or gain work experience, until remarriage, until a certain amount is paid or other ending times.

There are many divorces in Michigan each year and each one is unique. The outcomes depend on circumstances of the marriage and one issue that is very fact-specific is alimony. It can be a complicated issue and consulting with experienced attorneys could be beneficial.