If you and your spouse are splitting up, one question you may be asking is, “how will I support myself?” In this era of dual income families, when you get a divorce or legal separation, you often times also lose a portion of the source of your monthly rent, mortgage, bills, and more. This can often be a deterrent for people to get a divorce – even when they desperately need one. Lawmakers in Minnesota, as in all states, have allowed for spouses to petition the court for what is known as “alimony.”
Minnesota Alimony Basics
During a divorce, either party can petition the court to pay alimony or “spousal maintenance” to the other. Minnesota laws provide for this type of assistance so the lower earning spouses can maintain the same reasonable standard of living as before. Generally speaking, a court will be more inclined to order a longer period of alimony when the marriage was longer in duration.
The basics of alimony laws in Minnesota are listed below. Remember, if you have children together, you may also be entitled to child support; but be sure to check with an experienced attorney to learn more.
|Minnesota Code § 518.552
How Much Alimony?
No set amount. Will depend on a number of factors set out in the statute including:
· the financial resources of the party seeking maintenance;
· the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment, and the probability, given the party’s age and skills, of completing education or training and becoming fully or partially self-supporting
· the standard of living established during the marriage;
· the duration of the marriage;
· the loss of earnings, seniority, retirement benefits, and other employment opportunities given up by the spouse seeking spousal maintenance;
· the age, and the physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance;
· the ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance; and
· contribution of each party in the amount or value of the marital property, as well as the contribution of a spouse as a homemaker or in furtherance of the other party’s employment or business.
Duration of Alimony
Courts can make three different types of orders:
· Temporary order: Lasts while the divorce case is pending;
· Short-term order: Lasts for a short time after the divorce is finalized such as situations where one spouse is still in school, or involved in vocational or job training:
· Long-term or Permanent: If the marriage lasted over 10 years or if one party is unable to support themselves, the court can order a longer period of alimony or even permanent alimony in certain circumstances. The court may also order this when one spouse cannot work because he or she is a full-time caregiver of a child with significant mental, physical, or medical needs.
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Minnesota Alimony Laws: Related Resources
If you have additional questions about Minnesota alimony laws or would like to do your own research, click on the links below for more information:
Get Legal Help From a Minnesota Divorce Lawyer
Making the decision to part from your spouse is always difficult – particularly where there is money and support involved. While the alimony laws in Minnesota may be difficult to understand, the good news is that you don’t have to go through this process alone. A good first step in requesting alimony is to contact a Minnesota divorce lawyer, who can advocate on your behalf.