Guide to Spousal Support in Minnesota
Minnesota Spousal Support Laws
The state of Minnesota follows some very specific laws for maintenance and reopening maintenance. If you visit the official website of the Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statutes, you’ll find a huge section devoted to just spousal maintenance. There are several important sections to consider in all of these laws.
Section 518.552 Maintenance is one of the more important sections, and so is section 518.145 Decree, Finality and Reopening for spousal support in Minnesota. All of these laws are intended to set up for very strict guidelines for spousal support in Minnesota so there a no loopholes in how a spouse can receive maintenance, and these laws will be extended and explained below.
Section 518.552 Maintenance
Subdivision 1 of this section establishes the grounds for awarding spousal support in Minnesota. If there has been dissolution of marriage or legal separation and a spouse has obtained jurisdiction, the court will consider the following two options under Subdivision 1:
1) If the spouse lacks reasonable property (including marital property) to provide appropriate needs. This lack of property and standard of living should compare little to the standard of living during the marriage.
2) If the spouse is unable to become self-supportive because of inappropriate employment. Also, the spouse may not be able to become self-supportive because of custodial responsibilities as a parent.
Subdivision 2 establishes the amount and duration of spousal support. The order for spousal support in Minnesota sets up either temporary or permanent payments under the following factors:
• the financial resources of each spouse, including joint marital property
• the time necessary to obtain reasonable education or job training in order to become self-supporting
• the standard of living during the marriage
• the duration of the marriage and each spouse’s duties as a homemaker
• the loss of earnings, retirement benefits, or other benefits because of the other party seeking maintenance
• the age and health of the spouse seeking spousal support in Minnesota
• each party’s actions for advancing the other party’s employment and/or education
Subsection 3 establishes the permanency of the award. The section states that nothing in this section of law shall favor temporary award or permanent award. If there is some question to whether spousal support in Minnesota needs to be permanent, the court can establish permanent maintenance and reopen the case at a later time.
Subsection 5 highlights the ability of each party to reach a private agreement. If each party’s financial circumstances have been researched and the parties have still reached a private agreement, the court will allow the measure.
Subdivision 2 518.145 Decree, Finality and Reopening
This subsection lists conditions for reopening a spousal support case in the state. The court may reopen a case and free a party from a judgment or decree upon:
• a mistake, surprise, or excusable neglect
• newly discovered evidence
• fraud, misrepresentation, or other forms of misconduct
• the judgment and decree being void
How do I file for Spousal Support in the state of Minnesota?
If you intend to file for spousal support in Minnesota, you will have to file form SPS103 Affidavit of Default of Maintenance Judgment. This form needs to filed with the Court Clerk, and a number of forms will possibly need to be filled out later. If your spouse fails to start making payments, you will have to file form SPS104 Supplemental Affidavit of Default of Maintenance Judgment. This form also needs handed to the County Clerk.