The Modern Firm Website Analytics

Fill out the form below to contact us

Fill out my online form

Spousal Support (Alimony)

The court considers many factors in awarding spousal support.

Spousal support (formerly called alimony) refers to court-ordered payments from one spouse to another. In deciding whether to award spousal support and in what amount, the court may consider:

  • Past relations and conduct of each partner
  • Length of the marriage
  • Ability of each person to work and their respective incomes
  • Source and amount of property awarded to each partner
  • Ability to pay spousal support
  • Present situation of each partner
  • Needs of each partner
  • Health of each partner
  • Former standard of living and whether either is responsible for the support of others
  • Age and educational level of the person claiming spousal support
  • Fault of each partner in ending the marriage.

Judgments of divorce that do not grant spousal support must either expressly reserve the question of spousal support for later determination or rule that neither party is entitled to spousal support.

Spousal support can be paid directly or through the office of the Friend of the Court. The Friend of the Court maintains accurate record of payments. It also makes it easier to request assistance from the Friend of the Court if payments stop, or if a spouse denies receiving them.


Spousal Support Is Taxable
The person who receives spousal support must pay taxes on it. The person who pays it may deduct it on his or her tax return.

For spousal support to be considered taxable or tax-deductible, the phrase “payment until death” must be part of the spousal support agreement. The agreement may have other qualifying clauses such as “payable until remarriage.” This type of spousal support is not subject to a bankruptcy action.

There are many tax consequences and restrictions related to spousal support. And because tax laws and state laws and their interpretations continually change, there’s no guarantee that tax consequences from your divorce proceedings will stay the same over the years.

Our Family Mediation & Collaborative Practice Center is now operating in Ann Arbor. Click to learn more about the mediation and collaborative divorce services being offered.

FM&CPC Home Page


"[You reminded me] that the children are the most important thing to consider when working through the divorce and for the future. I felt you represent [...] " Anonymous

"Thanks again for all your hard work. I know I’ve said this before, but I want you to know I’m glad you are my attorney. " Husband, Ypsilanti

"Thank you for making this terrible time the best it could be. How you handle yourselves at such stressful times is remarkable. " Mother of 1, Ann Arbor

Contact Us

Fill out my online form