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Factors to consider for spousal maintenance in Minnesota

On Behalf of | Nov 26, 2023 | blog, Family Law

Spousal maintenance, also called alimony, is a form of financial support one spouse provides to the other after a divorce. The spouses can decide between themselves whether one will get maintenance and on what terms.

Otherwise, the decision on whether to award spousal maintenance and its terms hinges on various factors that Minnesota law outlines.

Duration of the marriage

In Minnesota, longer marriages often result in a higher likelihood of spousal maintenance. Marriages lasting several years may lead the court to consider the financial interdependence that developed over time.

Financial resources and needs

The court examines each spouse’s income, assets and financial obligations. For example, the median household income in Minnesota is $77,706. This amount for the spouses can drop after a divorce. If one spouse lacks sufficient property to provide for their reasonable needs or is unable to self-support, spousal maintenance may be necessary to balance the financial equation.

Standard of living during the marriage

The standard of living during the marriage is a key factor. The court aims to maintain a reasonable approximation of the standard of living each spouse experienced while married. If there is a significant disparity in earning capacity, spousal maintenance may go to the lesser-earning spouse.

Age and health of the parties

Courts consider whether the age or health of one spouse limits their ability to support themselves financially. Health issues or advanced age may lead to a longer duration of spousal maintenance.

Custodial arrangements and child support

Custodial arrangements and child support obligations can impact spousal maintenance decisions. The financial responsibilities of raising children may influence the amount and duration of spousal maintenance.

Earning capacity and employment history

The court examines the earning capacity and employment history of each spouse. If one spouse sacrificed career opportunities for the benefit of the marriage, the court may consider this when determining spousal maintenance.

Overall, the court carefully weighs multiple factors to arrive at a fair and equitable spousal maintenance arrangement.