Factors Considered in Determining Spousal Maintenance in Minnesota

Spousal maintenance, also commonly referred to as alimony, is a tool used by the courts to ensure that divorce does not leave either spouse financially destitute and helps maintain the standard of living established during the marriage. In most cases, spousal maintenance is awarded based on the need of the party seeking the support and the ability of the other party to pay. Because there is no set guideline or calculator for setting spousal maintenance in Minnesota, awards vary greatly across the state.

An award of spousal maintenance can be temporary or permanent. Pursuant to Minn. Stat. ┬ž518.552, the court must consider a variety of factors in establishing spousal maintenance, including:

  • The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance
  • The ability of the party seeking maintenance to become 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 forgone 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
  • The contribution of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation or appreciation in the amount or value of the marital property
  • The contribution of a spouse as a homemaker or in furtherance of the other party's employment or business
  • Any other relevant factors

The Minnesota Judicial Branch website provides self-help information regarding spousal maintenance. However, it is important to understand that the issue of spousal support is often one of the most highly contested matters in a divorce. The attorneys at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. have helped hundreds of individuals resolve the issue of spousal maintenance and can do the same for you.

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