The Michigan Spousal Support Factors

Michigan spousal support awards are based on 14 factors which are not contained in any statute, but are derived from case law. These include:

  1. parties’ past relations and conduct;
  2. length of the marriage;
  3. parties’ ability to work;
  4. source and amount of property awarded to the parties;
  5. parties’ ages;
  6. ability to pay spousal support;
  7. parties’ present situation;
  8. parties’ needs;
  9. parties’ health;
  10. prior standard of living of the parties and whether the parties support others;
  11. parties’ contributions to the joint estate;
  12. a party’s fault in causing the divorce;
  13. how cohabitation affects a party’s financial status; and
  14. general principles of equity.

The trial court must consider any factor it deems relevant, including fault, which should not be given disproportionate weight. While many people express moral outrage at the idea of continuing to support a spouse who has been unfaithful or abusive, fault is not generally considered a complete bar to spousal support.

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