Avoiding Paying Spousal Support May Not be Such a Good Idea

Going through a divorce can be an extremely stressful experience. It can also be a financially demanding one, too. If the two separating spouses cannot come to an amicable agreement about dividing property and allocating financial support for the less economically well off partner, a judge may decide to award spousal support to that person.

Spousal support is not a popular imposition and many people spend time trying to think of ways of reducing it or escaping its clutches altogether. Avoiding paying spousal support altogether is not a good idea. It could land you in trouble with the law as not paying spousal support in Michigan is a criminal offense and could land you in jail or at the very least mean you have to pay a fine, as well as still pay any outstanding spousal support payments you have not paid yet.

The best option if you feel that spousal support payments are unfair or an unbearable burden or you have experienced changes in your circumstances that mean you are no longer able to afford spousal support is to talk to a spousal support attorney about your options.

Spousal support is generally awarded to the less off partner in a relationship which is going through divorce. The decision to award spousal support to one of the two separating spouses is made after a family law court judge reviews all the information available about the marriage, why it broke up and the financial status of the two spouses. It is not taken lightly and it is not easy, although not impossible to reverse or amend the decision.

Modification of spousal support payments will often be considered if the person who has been allocated for making payments has undergone a significant reduction in his or her inability to earn an income. This could be involuntary redundancy, or losing a job or developing a sickness or an injury that prevents that person from being able to afford the level of spousal support being paid before.

In these circumstances, a continuation of payments may be addressed by a review by the family court. However, if the reduction in income is intentional or voluntary, then there may be no sympathy for the request to modify spousal support payments. For example, if the ex spouse nominated to make payments intentionally gives up their job or reduces their time at work in order to avoid making payments to their ex spouse then this might not be enough to convince the judge to terminate or reduce payments.

Similarly, if the person making payments makes a big purchase, or series of purchases, in order to reduce the cash they have available to make support payments then again this might not work. For example, if the ex spouse paying out decides to buy a new house or motor vehicle then this might be construed as trying to avoid making payments and so may not be taken into consideration when deciding about reducing payments to the ex spouse.

There are other reasons why a reduction in spousal support may be possible, especially if there have been changes in the financial situation of your ex spouse, such as coming into a an inheritance, taking on a new job, having training which means a good chance of employment and so on.

Rather than take things into your own hands when you are encountering difficulties in making regular spousal support, you should contact family law attorney at the Abood Law Firm in Birmingham at 248.549.0000 or East Lansing at 517.332.5900. Contact the office to make an appointment.