Ann Arbor Spousal Support Lawyer

Advocating Honestly and Tirelessly for Spouses in Washtenaw, Livingston, 
Wayne, Jackson Counties

Are you looking to request spousal support or alimony from your divorcing partner? Are you wondering how much you might be expected to pay in support? Whether you are the receiving or supporting spouse, Francie L. Novar, PLLC can represent you in your alimony proceedings. 

She understands how important the outcome can be, as spousal support could determine how financially stable you are after separating from your spouse. We take an aggressive and honest approach to our practice, doing our best to champion your best interests with integrity.

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For experienced legal representation in your alimony case, do not hesitate to contact Francie L. Novar, PLLC for guidance. We can help you evaluate your legal options and build a strong case based on your goals.

Types of Spousal Support in Michigan

Spousal support is equitable in nature and a Court will determine what is fair based upon a number of factors.  Michigan allows for permanent and transitional spousal support. 

  • Permanent spousal support is available to a spouse in a long-term marriage, who is unable to support themselves at a level they had become accustomed during the marriage due to years of financial dependence. However, even permanent support may decrease or end after retirement.  
  • Transitional, or rehabilitative support, is typically awarded to a spousal who has been financially dependent during the marriage, and who will need support while they are gaining education and/or job skills so that they can eventually become self-supporting, though not immediately.  
  • Rehabilitative support will vary in the term (number of years) and amount.  Support in Michigan is either modifiable or non-modifiable.

How Are Spousal Support Payments Made? 

Support can also be paid in a lump-sum in cases where one spouse can afford to pay the entire support award in one single payment. Supporting spouses might prefer lump-sum support because they will not have a continuing obligation to make monthly or annual payments to an ex-spouse. However, it is harder to qualify for lump-sum support, as the paying spouse will need to provide a significant value of property or a lump-sum monetary amount up-front. 

Spousal support, as with other parts of a divorce, is negotiable.  Attorney Novar is experienced and will help you understand all of your options, and she will negotiate a fair and equitable result.


How is Spousal Support Determined in Michigan?

To determine whether to grant alimony, a judge will examine the length of the marriage and several other factors, including:

  • the parties' past relations and conduct;
  • each spouse's ability to work;
  • the source and amount of property awarded to the parties in the divorce;
  • the age and health of each party;
  • the financial situation of each party;
  • the needs of each spouse;
  • the prior standard of living of the parties and whether the parties support other dependents;
  • each parties' contribution to the marital estate;
  • whether a spouse's conduct caused the divorce;
  • how cohabitation affects a party's financial status; and
  • any other general principles of equity.

There is no strict formula for calculating alimony, and the amount generally depends on both spouses' incomes. The court will try to award an amount sufficient to allow the receiving spouse to maintain a home and a reasonable standard of living, and it may also include an award of attorney fees paid by the receiving spouse.


How Long Does a Spousal Support Order Last?

The obligation to pay spousal support generally terminates when either party dies, or when the person receiving support remarries unless the parties have agreed to other terms.

Modifying an Order

Spousal support can be modifiable or non-modifiable.   During the spousal support period, though, Michigan courts understand that circumstances change and may warrant a modification of support for either the payor or the payee. If a spouse can prove a significant change of circumstances since the last order, they may ask the court to modify their current order. 

A few examples of a change in circumstances that warrants modification may be:

  • the recipient spouse is now cohabiting with a new partner;
  • there has been fraud and a unilateral mistake;
  • the needs of the parties have changed; or
  • there has been a change in the supporter’s ability to pay.

Alimony matters can be complex to negotiate, whether you are the supporting spouse or the receiving spouse. Francie L. Novar, PLLC has your best interests in mind and will do her best to fight assertively for a spousal support order that is equitable and favorable to you.

Contact Francie L. Novar, PLLC for a free consultation to discuss your goals and interests in your alimony dispute today. Let’s get you on the right foot in this new chapter of your life.


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