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Spousal Support Laywers

Spousal Support Lawyers

Divorce or separation can upend a couple’s lives. Sometimes, one spouse was the sole or primary income earner while the other spouse primarily cared for the children or home. In other cases, one spouse may have been working full-time while the other was working part-time. Divorce disrupts the division of financial responsibilities in a marriage, and can sometimes leave one spouse in an unfair position. Spousal support, also known as alimony, allows both individuals to continue living the same quality of life as before the divorce. Our experienced Michigan spousal support lawyers work tirelessly to achieve a fair outcome for our clients.

The emotional and psychological effects of divorce are difficult enough; you should not also have to worry about new financial responsibilities. Whether you are the higher-earning spouse or the spouse seeking spousal support, the family lawyers at Melissa Pearce & Associates may be able to help. We have represented clients across southwest Michigan in a wide range of family law matters. Contact us today for a pre-engagement meeting.

How Is Spousal Support Determined in Michigan?

Spousal support is decided case by case. Whereas child support is calculated according to a set formula, spousal support has no equivalent formula. There are two ways spousal support is generally determined in the state of Michigan. First, the spouses can agree on a spousal support agreement, or second, the court may issue an order.

What If Both Spouses Agree?

Our goal is to reach a spousal support arrangement where both spouses agree. This situation is ideal for numerous reasons. First, because a divorce or separation can be adversarial, we always seek compromise wherever possible.  Second, we would rather reach an outcome favorable to our client and their ex-spouse than rely on a judge to order a spousal support arrangement.

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What If Both Spouses Do Not Agree?

Discussing financial responsibilities with an ex-spouse can become heated and emotional. Unfortunately, sometimes parties to a divorce can not compromise on a spousal support agreement. At this point, the court will intervene and decide on behalf of the parties. Some of the considerations a judge may weigh in making this decision include:

  • The spouses’ incomes
  • Future earning capacity
  • Length of the marriage
  • Asset and property distribution in the divorce
  • Whether either party has special financial needs
  • Who else the parties have to support

There are many other factors the judge may consider. Because spousal support is determined on a case-by-case basis, each order is unique, but our experienced spousal support lawyers know how to argue the strongest case possible for our clients.

What If My Circumstances Change After the Spousal Support Order?

We often find that our clients’ lives change dramatically after their divorce is complete. In many cases, a spousal support order from months or years in the past is no longer appropriate. Perhaps one spouse lost their job or started a new, higher-earning job. Perhaps an ex-spouse remarried or had another child. Many circumstances can trigger the need for a modified spousal support order. 

When cases like these arise, we continue to support clients through post-judgment modifications to spousal support orders. When there is a significant change of circumstances, an ex-spouse can petition the court to modify the spousal support order. Upon a showing of changed circumstances, a judge may lower or increase the amount of spousal support due to the receiving spouse. If the ex-spouse who receives payments remarries, a judge may find that this is grounds to terminate spousal support payments altogether. If you believe your spousal support order is no longer fair under the circumstances, trust the spousal support lawyers at Melissa Pearce & Associates. We may be able to help you seek a post-judgment modification.

Contact Our Michigan Family Lawyers

Sometimes divorce or separation is the only choice for couples. At Melissa Pearce & Associates, we believe in reaching the most equitable and amicable agreement possible. When you separate from your spouse, you have to make a series of difficult decisions about what is best for you and your children. Our experienced attorneys provide both legal advice and emotional support during a very difficult time in our clients’ lives. Trust us to help you seek a fair spousal support arrangement that will allow both you and your ex-spouse to move on without sacrificing your quality of life.

Contact us today to schedule your pre-engagement meeting. We will respond to you within one business day. 

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