Muskegon Michigan Family Lawyers

Spousal Support (Alimony) Law in Michigan

What is Spousal Support – (also referred to as Alimony)?

In the simplest terms, spousal support is the payment of money from one spouse to the other as determined by the court system as part of a divorce settlement. Either spouse can request financial support if they qualify.

Kathrine West – an Experienced Family Law Attorney

West & West Law, a Muskegon-based law firm, provides services for Divorce in Michigan, a no-fault state. Attorney Kathrine West has 25 years of legal experience. She has built her reputation on successful results and premier service. While aggressive in the courtroom, she takes a caring and compassionate approach while working with and representing her clients. Kathrine and her legal team handle all family law issues, both in and out of court.

Conditions Courts Consider to Grant Spousal Support

Every divorce has different circumstances; therefore, spousal support is decided on a case-by-case basis.  There is no exact formula to employ. Determining spousal support is separate from child support. Having an experienced divorce lawyer like Kathrine West representing your interests can make a significant difference resulting from a court’s judgment.  Below are some of the aspects of a marriage that courts consider in determining spousal support:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The earning ability of each spouse
  • The age and health of each spouse
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • The property division ruling
  • Significant issues of fault
  • General principles of fairness
  • Visitation (Parenting Time)
  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
  • Modifications and Move-aways

Types of Spousal Support in Michigan Courts

As her client, Kathrine understands that you will have many questions about the divorce process or other family law-related matters, and she will take the time necessary to answer them.  Your needs and concerns are a priority to the West & West legal team at all times.

If you qualify, the court will decide what type of support is best suited for your situation.

The four types of spousal support granted in the state of Michigan are:


  1. Temporary
  2. Rehabilitative (short-term)
  3. Permanent
  4. Alimony in Gross (lump sum)

Temporary Spousal Support is available only during the pendency of a divorce case.  It is considered for spouses who are unable, during the divorce process, to support themselves.  Either party can request for temporary support from the court.  In some instances, temporary support is considered “status quo” payments.  If one spouse had been responsible for the mortgage, bill payments, etc., it would not be unusual for the court to order that spouse to continue with those payments during the divorce process.  There are other considerations to be awarded temporary support.  Your West & West Law Attorney, Kathrine West, can cover the details with you more extensively during your consultation meeting.

Rehabilitative Spousal Support can be awarded for a short period or long-term depending on the circumstances.  It is the most common support granted in the state of Michigan.  This support is in place to allow one spouse to become self-supporting.

For Example – if one spouse gave up their career to raise their family or assist the other spouse to advance their career, rehabilitative support can be granted to allow that spouse to become financially independent by permitting time to finish a degree or to get back into the job market.

Permanent Spousal Support applies to spouses who were in a marriage for an extended period of time, and the recipient spouse is unable to become financially independent based on age, health, or disability.

Alimony in Gross Spousal Support is less commonly granted but is appropriate when one spouse can effectively pay the entire support award in full under one payment or in installments. Payment doesn’t have to be in the form of money.  It could consist of personal or real property.

Choose the Right Divorce Legal Team

When your family difficulties turn into a family crisis, you need an experienced and compassionate family law attorney to advise and protect you.  Kathrine is recognized throughout West Michigan as a leader in the field of family law and as a zealous advocate for her clients.  West & West Law offers a combination of experience, knowledge, and a successful track record, paired with compassion and understanding necessary to meet the needs of your unique family law challenges.


West & West Law will be with you every step of the way.

Isn’t that what you and your family deserve in securing a divorce attorney?

To schedule a consultation, please call 231-725-0000. Visa and MasterCard are accepted as forms of payment. Evening, off-site and weekend consultations can be scheduled upon request.

Muskegon Michigan Family Lawyers