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Bill Could Change Permanent Alimony in Minnesota

A bill working its way through the Minnesota House of Representatives could change the way alimony works in the state. The bill’s goal is to bring permanent spousal maintenance to an end when the spouse receiving it moves in with a new boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancé or partner.

The bill, proposed by Representative Peggy Scott, would give Minnesota courts the power to terminate or modify spousal maintenance when the person receiving it has moved in with someone whom they were not living with at the time the alimony was awarded.

Legislators hope to end situations that they perceive to be unfair, where an ex-spouse has moved on, is being supported by a new romantic interest, and yet continues to get monthly checks from their former spouse. If the bill became law, it would also address the even more problematic situation of an alimony recipient using the money to support their new lover.

Under current law, people receiving permanent spousal maintenance can continue to collect payments as long as they don’t marry. This means that they could move in with someone and spends decades living as a couple, all while their ex is forced to continue to pay alimony.

Opponents of the proposed law argue that it will hurt women, making life even harder for them after a divorce by reducing their income while they are still trying to adjust to a new situation.

The state of Minnesota does not automatically adjust alimony or spousal support awards when there is a change in your circumstances or those of your former spouse. Instead, even under this new proposed law, you have to seek a modification of your support order from a court.

For help modifying a spousal support order, speak with an experienced Minnesota divorce lawyer at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. today.

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