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Alimony in Minnesota

Alimony in Minnesota


Alimony in Minnesota is called spousal maintenance and is no longer considered a simple, lifelong commitment to support an ex-spouse.  Alimony in Minnesota is considered an equalizing factor in divorce settlements, especially when there is a lack of shared martial property that can be used to balance a divorce.  The alimony determination is still in the hands of a judge, but at this juncture, the judge will consider many factors relevant to both sides, in determining who gets alimony, the length of such an arrangement and the conditions attached to continuing alimony in Minnesota.



How is alimony in Minnesota calculated?



The simplest answer is that it is not.  There is no formula to calculate alimony and this determination is that the discretion of the judge, even if it is to your detriment.  If you would like an idea of the factors considered when determining alimony in Minnesota, you can consult Minnesota Statute 518.552, which describes the grounds under which alimony is considered and the factors that are considered when granting alimony.



Alimony is granted only when one of the spouses cannot support themselves or there is a lack of marital property to make the divorce settlement equitable.  If the spouse is currently undergoing a period of education or job training then the divorce settlement must have provisions to support them until they become independent.



Unlike child support, there is no formula for alimony and the count can decide based on a number of factors outside of potential income, including future benefits, potential loss of earnings, health and especially the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage.  Child support is considered only after a separate child support agreement is formulated, if that agreement limits how the spouse may benefit from those funds.  The contribution of the spouse to childcare will be a limited, but present factor in determining alimony.  



Contesting alimony



There are a number of ways to have alimony terminated, usually by proving that the spouse is indeed financially capable or is drawing support through cohabitation with another individual in a marriage-like relationship.  You should speak with an attorney before filing a motion to have an alimony order reviewed.  This will prevent frivolous filings and other complications.



Types of alimony in Minnesota



Temporary alimony is ordered when a divorce is ongoing to provide for the vulnerable spouse outside of the martial home.  This arrangement spans the duration of the divorce proceedings only and will not constitute a guarantee of alimony after the divorce matter is resolved. 



Reimbursement alimony can be ordered if one spouse bears significant expenses supporting the other spouse, such as paying for that spouses’ education or other investment.  The court will order that investment to be repaid to that spouse in full or in part, depending on the financial security and potential income of both sides.



Long term alimony will be ordered until the death or subsequent marriage of the vulnerable spouse.  Expect the court to place restrictions on the permanency of the award to ensure that alimony goes toward education or increasing potential income.