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Modifying Spousal Maintenance Orders

Issues such as child custody, child support and spousal maintenance are resolved in a divorce proceeding. However, the court understands that as you and your ex move on with your life, some of these issues may need to be revisited.

Spousal maintenance is typically awarded when a marriage has lasted a sufficient duration, when there is a need for support from one party and when the other party has the ability to pay support. In Minnesota, an obligee (the maintenance receiving spouse) may be awarded temporary or permanent spousal maintenance.

However, each one of these types of spousal support is subject to modification under certain circumstances, even so-called permanent maintenance. Following is some basic information on how to seek a modification of an existing spousal maintenance order in Minnesota:

  • File a motion — Your first step is to serve and file a notice of motion and motion to modify spousal maintenance.
  • File Affidavit in Support of Motion to modify spousal maintenance — With your notice of motion and motion to modify spousal maintenance, you must also serve and file an Affidavit in Support of Motion to modify your existing spousal maintenance award. Here, you must explain your position and provide documents that help explain and support your wish to have your order modified. Examples of such documents include pay stubs showing gross income, proof of unemployment, Social Security documentation, change in budget, etc.
  • Obtain a hearing date — You must contact the court administrator’s office in the county where your case is located in order to request a hearing date, the time and location of the hearing, and the name of the judge hearing your case. This information must be included in your notice of motion and motion to modify spousal maintenance.

After reviewing your reasons for wanting a modification and the evidence to support such a request, the judge makes a decision. Prior to seeking a modification, however, you should first consult with a knowledgeable divorce attorney in Minnesota.

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