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Alimony / Spousal Maintenance

Washington County, Minnesota Divorce Law Firm Explains Alimony and Spousal Maintenance

Seeking or challenging spousal maintenance payments in Washington County, Dakota County, Burnsville, Stillwater and Woodbury, MN

At Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., we understand spousal maintenance claims may be driven by need — or by vengeance. We work diligently to protect your interests, regardless of which side of the claim you are on. Whether you need to contest an alimony claim or to secure your financial stability for the future, our experienced family law attorneys are ready to provide aggressive legal representation.

What kind of spousal maintenance is available in Minnesota?

Spousal maintenance in Minnesota, commonly known as alimony, can be granted in various forms under Minnesota law, depending on the requesting spouse’s needs and the paying spouse’s ability to pay. Common types of spousal maintenance awards include:

  • Temporary spousal maintenance — Temporary maintenance may be awarded to a requesting spouse while the divorce is pending. Temporary maintenance usually terminates automatically when the divorce becomes final.
  • Rehabilitative spousal maintenance — This type of support is referred to as rehabilitative because it helps support the requesting spouse while he or she gets additional education or training in order to become self-sufficient.
  • Permanent spousal maintenance — Permanent maintenance may be awarded to a requesting spouse if a judge determines the requesting spouse’s need is likely to be permanent.

How long does spousal maintenance last?

The duration of support is determined by the court on a case-by-case basis, but alimony generally terminates if either of these events occur:

  • Death of the receiving spouse
  • Remarriage of the receiving spouse

Changes in the receiving spouse’s financial circumstances may also justify a modification or termination of spousal maintenance.

What does a court consider in deciding whether to grant spousal maintenance?

Minnesota law provides that spousal maintenance may be awarded only when the court finds one of the following situations exists:

  • The requesting spouse lacks sufficient property to provide for his or her reasonable needs, considering the standard of living the parties enjoyed during the marriage. Training or education may be considered a reasonable need.
  • The requesting spouse is unable to be self-supporting through appropriate employment, considering the standard of living enjoyed by the parties during the marriage and other relevant circumstances.

Courts also consider the impact of the child custody arrangement when the requesting spouse is the custodial parent of a child whose condition or circumstances make it inappropriate to require the spouse to seek employment outside the home.

What are the tax consequences of spousal maintenance?

Spousal maintenance is generally taxable as income to the receiving spouse and deductible as an expense for the paying spouse. This is one reason a paying spouse might prefer a spousal maintenance order over a greater share of marital property — alimony payments are tax-deductible, but proceeds from a property division are either tax-neutral or possibly subject to capital gains tax if assets must be liquidated to accomplish a property division.

Call today for a free consultation in Oakdale

With an office in Oakdale, Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. serves clients throughout Minnesota, including in Washington County, Dakota County, Burnsville, Eagan and Woodbury, MN. Contact us online to schedule a meeting, or call us at 651-379-3024.  We provide trustworthy advice and thorough representation in all types of family law disputes. Free parking and flexible scheduling are available.

Our Attorneys
Client testimonials
  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.


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