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What to do during divorce if your spouse is the higher earner

Divorce can be expensive. Paying for attorney's fees and court costs on top of potentially losing your home could be scary - especially if you are not the higher-earning spouse.

If fear of how you will pay for a divorce keeps you with your spouse, review your options. How to pay for divorce should not be a deal breaker. In Michigan, you may be able to finalize your divorce without paying too much out of pocket.

Fight for spousal support

Spousal support is a court-ordered arrangement in which the higher-earning spouse makes regular payments to the other spouse after divorce. Spousal support helps maintain a spouse's standard of living. The courts may order spousal support if you gave up an education or work experience to support your spouse or take care of your kids. Spousal support can make it easier to transition into single living.

If you need financial assistance during the divorce process (e.g., if your spouse moves out and cuts you off after you file for divorce), ask the courts for temporary spousal support. A temporary support order could give you money during the divorce process until the courts order a more permanent agreement.

Aim for an uncontested divorce

An uncontested divorce means both you and your spouse agree to the proposed terms of the split. It is faster, easier and typically less expensive to obtain an uncontested divorce than a contested one. Work with your spouse and a mediator to achieve an uncontested divorce agreement in Michigan. This could save money in court costs and legal fees.

Search for an affordable lawyer

If you have a messy divorce case, a lawyer can help you protect your assets and fight for things such as spousal support and legal fee reimbursement. Odds are, your higher-earning spouse will hire a lawyer. That means you should, too. Find a firm that offers divorce services at an affordable or competitive rate. Just because your spouse earns more does not mean he or she has to have the upper hand during a divorce case.

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