Going through the divorce process can understandably be challenging from both a financial and an emotional standpoint. This is particularly true if your soon-to-be ex was the primary or sole breadwinner in your household during your marriage.
Fortunately, you may be able to take advantage of spousal support, also known as alimony, in Minnesota. You and your spouse may be able to come to an agreement about how much alimony you will receive. Otherwise, you can take the matter to court to resolve it.
What is spousal support?
Spousal support exists in an effort to prevent the spouse who earns the least amount of money from experiencing an unfair economic impact in divorce. This is especially true if you chose to give up your career so that you could stay home and take care of the family while your spouse went to work. Alimony may make it possible for you to maintain the living standard you experienced during your marriage.
You and your spouse may reach your own agreement on alimony through a process such as divorce mediation or informal negotiations. Through these processes, you can avoid the potential stress of going to court and may be able to resolve this aspect of your divorce proceeding more quickly. However, a judge will make your alimony decision for you if you and your spouse cannot make it outside of court.
What is an alimony award based on?
Child support payment amounts are determined based on state guidelines. However, the court has more room to determine whether you should receive spousal support and how much you should receive. The court will also decide how long you should receive it.
The court may look at a wide range of factors when determining your alimony award, such as the following:
- You and your spouse's financial conditions, physical conditions, ages and emotional states
- How much time it would take you to complete training to achieve self-sufficient living
- How long you were married
- How able your soon-to-be ex is to support you while still supporting himself or herself
- Your living standard during your marriage
How long can I expect alimony?
This depends on the type of alimony you receive. If your divorce decree specifies no termination date for your alimony, your payments will continue unless otherwise determined by the court. However, the majority of permanent alimony awards come to an end after the alimony recipient gets remarried.