Alimony & Spousal Maintenance

Commonly known as “alimony,” spousal maintenance is an arrangement of payments from the expected income or earnings of one spouse for the support of the other following a divorce. Spousal maintenance is usually granted to the spouse that is unable to support him or herself after a Minnesota divorce or legal separation. In Minnesota, there is no magic number of years for the length of marriage that creates a necessity for required maintenance payments, but generally spousal maintenance is not common in marriages of shorter duration. Spousal maintenance can also be waived by the parties through a Karon Waiver.

Minnesota Alimony Attorneys

At Heimerl & Lammers, we realize that spousal maintenance is one of the most contentious topics involved in a divorce or legal separation. Our firm is founded on the belief that equal justice and fairness is an absolute right. As such, we are equally adept at representing both sides of the spousal maintenance coin. If you are the party that needs to receive spousal maintenance, we will work hard to obtain the proper amount of maintenance for the necessary duration of time. If you are the party that is being asked to pay spousal maintenance, we will see to it that any payments you are asked to make are fair and agreeable. Visit the following pages for more information on topics related to alimony:

Factors to Consider in Minnesota Spousal Maintenance Awards

Deciding to award or not award spousal maintenance is a delicate decision making process, one involving a number of factors, all of which have a bearing on whether or not a court decides to award maintenance. These factors can include whether the spouse seeking maintenance lacks the means to provide reasonable self-support, and whether the other spouse has the ability to pay.

Should the court decide that spousal maintenance is required, the question then is “how much should be awarded, and for how long?” Calculating this involves considering many factors, including:

  • The financial resources of the spouse seeking maintenance and their ability to meet their personal needs independently.
  • Standard of living established during the marriage.
  • The time and effort necessary to secure sufficient education or training to enable the spouse seeking maintenance to find meaningful employment and the probability, given the spouse’s age and skills, of completing education and training and becoming fully self-supporting.
  • Loss of pay, reasonable expectation for advancement and additional employment opportunities.
  • Age and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance.
  • The ability of the spouse who will be paying maintenance to meet his or her needs while paying maintenance.
  • The length of the marriage as well as the length of absence from employment. For example, if the homemaker was previously educated in computer networking but hasn’t worked for the past 10 years, re-training is required to be able to recover the original earning capacity.
  • Each spouse’s contribution to the amount or value of martial property, as well as the somewhat intangible contribution of the spouse who was the homemaker.
  • The court will not consider marital misconduct in making a maintenance award.

Contact Our Minnesota Divorce Lawyers

As you can see, having competent, efficient legal representation on your side is essential if you’re facing spousal maintenance or alimony questions in Minnesota. If you have any questions about spousal maintenance, either from the paying or receiving side, contact the Minnesota divorce attorneys at Heimerl & Lammers today and let us help you throughout this difficult, complex, and emotionally-charged time. Set up your free initial consultation – 612.294.2200.