Divorce is going to change your life in many ways, and it’s important that you know you have financial security well into the future. If you earn less than your spouse, you are probably concerned with how the end of your marriage will affect your lifestyle, expectations for the future and more. If you are the lesser-earning spouse, you could be eligible for spousal maintenance.
Spousal maintenance is payments from the higher-income spouse to the other in order to help him or her adjust to post-divorce financial circumstances. There is no standard spousal support payment, but this amount depends on the details of the individual situation. You have the right to pursue the support to which you believe you have the right.
What determines the amount?
There are several factors that will determine the amount of your spousal maintenance payments. Once ordered by the court, your former spouse must adhere to the terms. The court may consider any of the following when determining whether to order payments and how much you should get:
- How long the marriage lasted
- Your income and the income of the other spouse
- The physical state, mental capability and emotional stability of the other spouse
- The standard of living enjoyed by both spouses during the marriage
- How long it would take for you to become financially self-sufficient
Spousal maintenance may not be permanent. There are times when a judge may order it on a temporary basis. The length of time you may receive this support could depend on your age, whether you can continue to work, whether you can find higher-paying employment and more. It may be possible to negotiate reasonable terms.
Your financial future
The terms of your final divorce order matter. Whether you are pursuing spousal maintenance in a Minnesota courtroom or around the negotiating table, it is prudent to think long-term. What may appeal to your emotions now may not make sense years down the road. Before you agree to terms or make any important decisions, it may help to consider what the repercussions of the choice will be months and even years from now.
If you are concerned about how your divorce will impact you financially, you may benefit from learning more about spousal support or maintenance. If you have a rightful claim to this type of support, you can fight for what you need to be confident regarding your post-divorce circumstances.