Can I Get Alimony During My Divorce?

It is possible to receive alimony (spousal support) while going through the divorce process. In general, spousal support is a monetary payment from one spouse to the other. The goal when considering awarding alimony is to equalize the financial circumstances between the spouses in order to ensure that each spouse can meet their financial obligations.

It is important to note that if you believe you will need spousal support the request must be made in your initial pleading, the complaint. If you are the Defendant in the divorce action, you would need to file a counter-complaint and request spousal support there.

Michigan allows for four different types of alimony, temporary, periodic, permanent, and a lump-sum. When considering awarding alimony, a Judge will look at the needs of the spouses along with the ability to pay alimony, and other factors.

During a divorce, a spouse is able to ask the court to grant them temporary alimony. Temporary alimony is usually awarded during the divorce to enable a spouse to support themselves during the divorce process. This could take the form of maintaining the marital bills during the divorce process, called the status quo, and can also involve additional sums of money depending on the circumstances of your case. Temporary alimony is the type that is awarded during the divorce process while you are still married. It will end once a judgment is entered at the conclusion of your divorce.

In Michigan, there is no set spousal support formula as there is with child support. There are several factors a Judge can consider when awarding spousal support, besides the parties’ incomes, which include:

The past relationship and conduct of both parties;
Each spouse’s ability to work;
The amount of property awarded in the divorce;
The age and health of both parties;
The financial situation of both spouses and their needs;
Prior standard of living & support of dependents;
What did each spouse contribute to their common estate;
Whether a spouse’s conduct caused the divorce (ie. infidelity);
How cohabitation affects a spouse’s finances (did one spouse move in with a family member or significant other); and,
Other general principles of equity.

If you are considering filing for divorce and think that you may need financial support during the pendency of your divorce proceedings it is important to discuss your options with a knowledgeable divorce attorney. You can contact our office to schedule a consultation about your unique situation.