How Is Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) Determined?

When a marriage comes to an end, the financial partnership that the couple has become accustomed to also ends. Severing the financial partnership can be one of the most daunting aspects of divorce, especially for individuals who have spent the past decade raising children or homemaking, rather than working at a job outside of the home. When there is a disparity of income, the court may choose to award spousal maintenance to the party with the lower income.

Spousal maintenance determinations can be confusing and unpredictable. Talk to an experienced Minnesota spousal maintenance/alimony lawyer at Coodin & Overson, PLLP, to discuss your specific situation. Call 651-319-5180 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.

Whereas child support determinations follow a strict formula, awards of spousal maintenance (also referred to as spousal support or alimony) are ordered on a case-by-case basis. The judge has full discretion to evaluate the needs of the parties, the ability of one party to pay and several other factors. When determining the type and amount of spousal maintenance that should be awarded (if any), the judge may consider factors such as:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The age and health of both parties
  • The income and living expenses of each party
  • The education or employability of the party seeking support

Temporary, Rehabilitative Or Permanent Spousal Maintenance

Temporary spousal maintenance and rehabilitative spousal maintenance are the more common forms of alimony awarded in Minnesota. Generally, temporary and rehabilitative support orders provide one party with the financial support necessary to maintain living expenses while pursuing the education or work experience necessary to become self-sustaining.

While permanent spousal maintenance/alimony awards are less common, permanent support may be awarded in unique situations, such as when a spouse is dependent due to disability or mental incapacity, or when a spouse is at an age that becoming employable is no longer realistic. Permanent support is usually only awarded in longer marriages.

Experienced Attorneys In The Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro Area

If you have questions about spousal maintenance or need assistance with a spousal maintenance/alimony modification, we can help. Contact our family law firm in Woodbury, Minnesota, for a free initial consultation with a skilled divorce lawyer. Our firm advises and represents clients throughout the Twin Cities and Minnesota.