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Skilled Guidance In Michigan Child Support And Spousal Support Matters

Ongoing financial support is often a contentious topic in divorce. It keeps former couples connected to one another when they would rather make a clean break. Yet child support and spousal support provide critical funds following a major shift in family income and expenses.

If you’re going through a divorce or breakup, you may now be facing questions about the role that child and spousal support will play in your budget. At Haskell Law, PC, I counsel clients on these and other family law matters every day, utilizing more than 20 years of legal experience. My name is Michael Haskell, and when you contact my firm, I will help you understand your support obligations or entitlements and work to achieve a support award that meets the needs of all parties.

Ensuring That Kids Have The Financial Resources They Need

Regardless of whether they are married, both parents are required to financially support their children in Michigan. This often means that, following a divorce, one parent will pay child support to the other. Which parent pays and how much they pay will depend on factors such as each parent’s share of parenting time (based on overnights per year), how many children need to be supported, each parent’s income, the costs of child care and health care expenses, and any other relevant information.

When awarding child support, a judge must begin with a formulaic calculation. They may deviate from this formula if there is a reason to believe that the formula would produce an inappropriate or unfair award amount.

It will be my job as your attorney to ensure that the court receives accurate financial information and any additional context needed to determine the correct amount of child support. It may not always feel like it, but both parents have a vested interest in ensuring that the children’s needs are met and that the costs to parents are sustainable long-term.

Will Spousal Support Be Awarded In Your Case?

Today, spousal support (sometimes called alimony) is not automatically awarded in divorce. Either spouse can seek it, but there must be a compelling reason for a judge to award it (or for the couple to agree on support in a negotiated divorce). Those considerations may include:

  • The age, health and earning potential of each spouse
  • Each spouse’s contribution to the family and marital estate (including monetary and nonmonetary contributions)
  • The needs of the lower-earning spouse weighed against the means of the higher-earning spouse
  • Each party’s conduct leading up to the divorce, including whether one spouse engaged in conduct that caused or largely contributed to the breakdown of the marriage

Judges will also consider other factors, like the terms of the divorce settlement, whether there are also minor children to be supported and more.

There are numerous types of spousal support, including temporary support (given while the divorce is pending), periodic support (lasting a specific period of time), permanent support or spousal support paid in a lump sum. There isn’t a specific formula like there is for child support.

You likely won’t know whether alimony will be a factor or which kind of alimony it will be until I have had a chance to examine all the details of your case. No matter which side you are on, however, I will work tirelessly to ensure that, if spousal support is awarded, it will be fair to and sustainable for both parties.

Get Answers To Your Support Questions During A Free Initial Consultation

Haskell Law, PC, is based in Grand Rapids, and I serve clients throughout western Michigan. To take advantage of a free initial consultation about your family law matter, call 616-420-1522 or reach out online.