As of 2015, Michigan law makes it clear that no fixed mathematical formula may be used to calculate spousal support payments, according to DivorceNet from Nolo. Each case must be considered individually based on various factors weighed by the court.
If a property award is shown to be insufficient, a court looks at several determining factors in awarding spousal support, notes DivorceNet. The needs of both spouses, their ability to earn and their health and age are taken into account. A couple's standard of living when they got married and the length of the marriage are also considerations. Other factors a court must examine include the ability of a spouse to pay, the property and assets of each spouse and whether a particular spouse was responsible for the end of the marriage. Courts use general principles of equity and fairness in deciding spousal support cases.
Courts order spousal support to be paid monthly, yearly or all at once, says Michigan Legal Help. Periodic payments are permanent or temporary. In cases where temporary support is ordered, it lasts a specified period of time or until an event such as death or remarriage. When permanent support is ordered, it may end when a spouse begins receiving retirement or pension benefits.