In Michigan, alimony is called Spousal Support. It is support that one spouse has to pay to the other after a divorce is finalized. It can last for a short time. This is called rehabilitative spousal support and is intended to help the other spouse transition back into the workforce. It is often common when one spouse stayed at home with children while the other worked. Since it usually takes time to get a good career going a spouse may need spousal support for a period of time as they get back to work. Long term or permanent spousal support usually occurs after a long term marriage where a spouse, usually the wife, has been out of the work force for decades and has no real prospects for ever being able to earn income comparable to the other spouse. It is important that the issues of need, equity, earning ability and length of marriage be thoroughly analyzed by an experienced professional when spousal support is at issue.