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A Better Partnership
November 24, 2010

COA Opinion: A trial court should not use a mechanical formula to award spousal support

On November 23, 2010, the Court of Appeal's published its opinion, authored by Judge Kelly, in Myland v. Myland, No. 292868. The primary issue in this case was the trial court's award of spousal support. The trial court had applied a "mechanistic" formula which used just income and the length of the marriage. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded, specifically stating that there was "no room for the application of rigid and arbitrary formulas in determining the appropriate amount of spousal support." Instead, the Court of Appeals directed the trial court to consider all the relevant factors and make specific findings of facts in reaching an award of spousal support that meets the mandate of balancing the incomes and needs of the parties.

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