What is alimony in Michigan? (BTW it is the same as spousal support).

The purpose of alimony in Michigan is to balance the unfair economic effects of a divorce. Simply put alimony (which is the same as spousal support) is paid by one party to financially support a spouse after divorce if the property award is insufficient to support either party.


This video webinar examines alimony in Michigan law in detail and the balance of this article discusses the frequently asked questions about alimony in Michigan.

The difference between alimony in gross and periodic alimony in Michigan.

Alimony can be “in gross” or “periodic”. “In gross” is typically a one-time lump sum payment for support of a spouse. “Periodic” alimony is typically a monthly payment for a period of time.

Rehabilitative and permanent alimony in Michigan.

An alimony award can be “rehabilitative” or “permanent”. Rehabilitative alimony is temporary in nature, typically for a number of years. The goal of rehabilitative alimony is to make the transition from married and dependent to self-sufficiency easier. Permanent alimony is permanent and is typically awarded when a spouse has no long-term earning potential.

Alimony in Michigan law.
The statutory authority for a court to award alimony in Michigan can be found in MCL 552.23(1). The statute authorizes a court to award “spousal support”.

How to determine the amount and duration of alimony in Michigan?

The factors relevant to the amount and duration of spousal support are:

1. The length of the marriage;
2. The parties’ contribution to the marital estate;
3. The parties’ ages;
4. The parties’ health;
5. The parties’ station in life; and
6. The parties’ earning ability.

Alimony guidelines.

Sometimes, practitioners, mediators and judges use “guidelines” to help evaluate the amount and duration of alimony in Michigan. The primary considerations of most guidelines evaluate the following factors:
1. The age of the parties;
2. The income of the parties;
3. The length of the parties marriage; and
4. The education of the parties.

The use of guidelines without consideration of other factors is not appropriate in many cases in determining an award of alimony in Michigan as the guidelines fail to take into consideration the needs of the parties, such as the prior standard of living or special circumstances such as the parties’ health expenses and other factors. Therefore, it is important not to rely solely on guidelines in evaluating an award of alimony in Michigan. If you have questions or concerns regarding and award of alimony in Michigan (spousal support) we are here to help.

About Findling Law

Findling Law, PLC – 414 W. 5th St. Royal Oak, Michigan 48067

Phone:+1 (248) 399-3300
After hours emergency?+1 (707) 968-7347



I have been exclusively practicing divorce and family law in Michigan for over two decades.  The attorneys at Findling Law all share the core value of practicing law to help people navigate change in their lives, without compromising principles.  We are compassionatecreative and always prepared. We specialize in high socio-economic, high-profile and high-conflict cases, while also working with clients of all backgrounds. We recognize that the most important aspect of the practice of law is the application of the law to your specific circumstances.That is why we provide more free information on divorce and family law than any other Michigan law firm. We want to help you manage your situation. Allow our exceptional legal team to help you navigate the change in your life, without compromising principles.

By:  Daniel Findling


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Alimony in Michigan and Spousal Support

Alimony in Michigan – The needs of the parties.

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