If you are someone who has not worked during your marriage because of caring for your children or you stayed at home to take care of housekeeping tasks, then you may be in a difficult situation if you decide to get divorced. Even if you work part-time, it can be difficult to suddenly switch into a full-time career, which may mean that you don’t have much financial support to live on your own.
If you decide to divorce, one of the things you can do is ask for spousal support. Spousal support is usually given to lesser-earning spouses in need when they need financial support following a divorce. This support may be paid permanently, as a form of reimbursement or as a rehabilitative support option.
What kind of spousal support will you receive?
The kind of spousal support you’ll get will depend on many factors. For example, if you have not worked for 20 years while raising your children and taking care of the home, you may find it difficult to get back to work. The court may agree that permanent spousal support is reasonable because you don’t have the means to support yourself.
On the other hand, if you only need a few months or years to attend school or get back into your old career, rehabilitative support may be the right choice. This would be a periodic payment made only for a limited length of time based on your particular needs.
Finally, there is another option called reimbursement support. Reimbursement support is sometimes paid to those who have supported a spouse while they sought a professional license or degree. For example, if you paid $20,000 toward your spouse’s education, you may be able to get reimbursed for being unable to benefit from their heightened career prospects and higher income in the future.
To get spousal support in Michigan, you will need to make a case showing that you need support based on your inability to provide for yourself or because of factors like supporting your spouse through school. Longer marriages are more likely to end with spousal support orders, whereas shorter marriages will face more scrutiny.