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Alimony & Spousal Maintenance

Grand Rapids Alimony & Spousal Maintenance

Getting a divorce in Michigan? You may be eligible for spousal maintenance (alimony) if you are unable to support yourself and your children following divorce. Alimony payments continue until the recipient is able to recover financially or remarry. However, depending on the health and age of the recipient, alimony could continue until you or your ex-spouse dies. To learn if you're eligible for spousal support, call our divorce lawyers in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. We represent both men and women in alimony cases.

What is alimony?

Alimony helps reduce the economic advantage one ex-spouse has over the other once the marriage dissolves. If you left a great-paying job to raise your children, you most likely lost your career momentum and earning potential.

Even if you have a college degree, you may have difficulty finding employment if you've been out of the workforce for years. Spousal support helps you maintain the same lifestyle you enjoyed while being married so you can recover financially.

Am I or my ex-spouse entitled to alimony?

To prove eligibility for alimony, a divorce attorney will need to show evidence that the intended recipient is unable to pay for reasonable needs like shelter, utilities, and food. The intended recipient and their lawyer will also need to provide evidence that they're unable to support themselves through suitable employment due to child care responsibilities or other circumstances.

A job that pays minimum wage is often not enough to cover child care expenses, especially if your children aren't able to attend school full time yet. If this describes your situation, our divorce lawyer will make sure you get the alimony you need.

How long could I or my ex-spouse receive alimony?

Spousal support continues until the recipient financially recovers or remarries. However, if the age or health of the recipient prevents them from returning to the workforce, they may need alimony for life.

If either ex-spouse has a change in circumstances, they can request the court to modify how much spousal support is awarded. For example, if alimony was awarded to your ex-spouse, the court would look at your ability to pay while still being able to support yourself. Likewise, the recipient may not need alimony after taking some classes to refresh their job skills.

How long alimony is paid depends on whether the recipient:

  • Has school-age children
  • Needs more education or training to get a job
  • Has health or age-related issues that prevent being able to work

How much alimony could I or my ex-spouse get?

Your divorce attorney will be able to help you determine how much spousal support you're entitled to. Likewise, if your ex-spouse is requesting alimony, we'll be able to determine if their claim is justified. We look at your ability to pay alimony while still being able to support yourself.

When determining eligibility, the court will look at whether the intended recipient can get a job that pays enough to support them and the children. Even if you are highly educated, you may not be as employable if you took a break from your career to raise your family. In this scenario, you would most likely be eligible for spousal support.

Amount and duration of alimony depends on several factors:

  • How long the marriage lasted
  • Age
  • Mental and physical health
  • Standard of living you had while married
  • Earning capacity
  • Distribution of marital property

Who can help with my divorce?

To schedule your free consultation with one of our divorce lawyers, call the Law Offices of Sean Patrick Cox. Our attorneys will make sure you understand the divorce process and whether alimony is relevant to your case.