After a divorce, two parties who previously worked together as one must learn how to function separately. In certain cases, a party may need financial assistance to maintain a positive quality of life.
For this reason, determining spousal support may be a component of the divorce process. Whether a party is paying or receiving support, it may be helpful to understand how the courts determine the calculations.
While there is no set spousal support calculation system in the state of Michigan, some judges do utilize a calculation program to determine support payment amounts. This program rates various related factors on a scale from 0 to 100. While judges do not use this tool as a means to an end, many do utilize it as a starting point upon which to build their final judgement.
There are certain factors that may cause judges to alter the base determination of a spousal support payment amount. According to the law, the court may take into account the following considerations:
- Length of marriage
- Spousal needs
- Standard of living
- Health and age of each spouse
- Divorce contribution
While these are common considerations, there are additional factors the court may consider, depending upon the relationship. Therefore, parties should be prepared to present any information that they believe may be relevant to their side of the argument.
Exceptions and modifications
Once the court makes a decision and puts it in place, both parties must abide by it. However, in the case that certain changes occur in the lives of either party, it may provide grounds to end the support arrangement. For example, if a spouse receiving support re-marries, that spouse no longer qualifies to receive support payments. In addition, changes in the income or work status of either party may create reasonable terms for consideration of a support modification.
Understanding these key concepts may aid in creating a strong case, along with presenting the right evidence. It may also be beneficial to review the divorce law in full.