Child Support, Spousal Support and Alimony



Going through a divorce is never easy. It can get even more stressful when the former spouses must negotiate how to divide the family’s income(s) for purposes of setting the child support and spousal support amounts (also known as alimony).

Child Support
Our child support attorneys understand the unique complexities of Michigan child support laws. Smith Haughey attorneys have been working in Michigan family courts for decades, helping parents ensure that the best interests of their children are served.

Child support awards in Michigan are based on a statutory formula that takes into account a number of factors, including the number of children involved, the income of the parties, the parenting time schedule and the out-of-pocket costs incurred by each parent (e.g. day care and health insurance). However, there can be “hidden” issues that may result in inequitable support if not discovered and presented to the court. Whether you will collect or pay child support, our attorneys focus on giving the court the clearest possible picture of your life and financial situation, in pursuit of a solution that takes care of your children without taking unfair advantage of you.

In addition to assisting clients with initial child support orders, our attorneys can help seek support order modifications in the event of financial or other life changes. We can also help pursue arrearages (child support that has been ordered but not paid) and back, or retroactive, child support (payments a non-custodial parent may be obligated to make, but has not been ordered to yet – for example, in the case of parents who are not married at the time of the child’s birth, the non-custodial parent may be required to pay support from the time the child was born).

Spousal Support
Sometimes known as alimony and/or spousal maintenance, spousal support is the financial support paid by one spouse to the other in order to maintain the lifestyle to which the spouse had become accustomed during the marriage. The goal is to balance the incomes and needs of the parties in a way that will not impoverish either one of them. Under Michigan spousal support laws, not everyone going through a divorce is eligible to receive spousal support.

No statutory formulas control the amount of spousal support in Michigan. The court has discretion in determining the amount and length of any payments awarded. A spousal support lawyer who knows the system can help present the best possible case, whether the goal is to maximize payments (as the payee spouse) or minimize payments (as the payor spouse). We can also help pursue a modification of spousal support orders if circumstances change. The court takes several factors into consideration when determining if spousal support is appropriate after a divorce.

The court may consider, among other things:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Ability to work and ability to pay
  • Source and amount of property awarded
  • Age and health of the parties
  • Present situation of the parties
  • Prior standard of living

Our child and spousal support attorneys understand the unique complexities of Michigan child and spousal support laws and can help relieve the stress by providing both experienced legal counsel and reassuring emotional comfort.

  • Child Support
  • Spousal Support
  • Alimony