Commonly known as alimony, spousal maintenance exists to help a divorced person who is unable to support themselves financially. In many marriages, one spouse earned all the household income. The other spouse gave up their career to support the breadwinner. Now they are on their own again and may lack the education or skills to find full-time work. They need help maintaining their pre-divorce standard of living.

Why divorced Minnesotans ask to modify their maintenance

After the divorce is final, you and your ex will go on with your lives. As the years pass, things will likely change. The spousal maintenance order in place might no longer make sense or fulfill your needs. Here are six common reasons divorced people in the Minneapolis suburbs seek modification to their alimony order:

  • Cohabitation. Under Minnesota law, maintenance can be modified or terminated if the ex receiving the payments starts living with a romantic partner.
  • Changed need for support. This includes a significant increase or decrease in income for the recipient.
  • Changed ability to pay. Similarly, maintenance can be changed if the payor’s income has gone up or down.
  • Disability. If either party becomes disabled, and either cannot pay maintenance anymore or needs increased support, modification is possible.
  • New support obligation. The paying spouse has remarried and had a child. The court could consider it to be an undue hardship for the payor to support their new spouse and child as well as their former spouse.
  • Change in the law. Lawmakers change Minnesota’s spousal maintenance laws from time to time. If the change applies to your order, you or your ex might consider seeking a modification.

If you and your ex are still on good terms, you and your attorneys may be able to negotiate a modification out of court. Otherwise, you will need to go to court and let a Family Court judge decide based on the evidence.