If your marriage is about to end and you live in Michigan, you may be wondering whether you will have to pay alimony or whether you will be eligible to receive alimony. Fortunately, guidelines exist that can help judges determine who pays and who receives alimony and the amount of alimony to award. By understanding when and how judges use guidelines, you may have a better idea of what to expect from your divorce.
In Michigan, no mandatory guideline for alimony or spousal support exists. All determinations concerning either type of award are made on a case-by-case basis. However, a survey published by the State Bar of Michigan in 2005 shows 68 percent of the family law judges in the state who responded to the survey use non-mandatory guidelines to help them make decisions on their cases.
The survey also asked family law judges which guidelines they used to make determinations on cases. The majority of respondents used a software tool created by the company Marginsoft. This software and other similar tools, along with the consideration of other relevant factors, are used as guides for negotiating settlements and making presumptive determinations in over 75 percent of divorce cases.
Fortunately for divorcing couples in Michigan, many family law attorneys have access to the same software judges use to help them determine alimony. Legal professionals who have experience representing clients in cases in which alimony or spousal support factor can help you determine whether either form of support will be likely in your divorce. In addition, these experienced lawyers can also help you estimate a likely award amount.