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How does spousal support work in Minnesota?

On Behalf of | Oct 4, 2021 | Firm News |

The court may award spousal support (alimony) during and after a divorce. A judge can order alimony until the spouse who receives alimony can become financially independent.

Learn more about spousal support payments in Minnesota if you face divorce in the state.

Reasons to receive alimony

The person asking for alimony must be unable to meet the marital standards of living on his or her own income. This can occur when one spouse has limited income, often because he or she left the workforce to care for children or support a spouse’s career.

Alimony laws are gender-neutral. This means the spouse requesting support can file regardless of gender.

Factors in spousal support determinations

Some factors the judge will consider when deciding to award spousal support include:

  • Whether the requesting spouse cannot work or has diminished earning capacity
  • Whether the non-requesting spouse can afford to make alimony payments and be self-supporting
  • The length of the marriage
  • The standard of living during the marriage

Unlike many states, Minnesota does not have an alimony formula, which gives judges broad discretion in determining spousal support. The court can order temporary, short-term or long-term spousal support. With temporary alimony, the award ends when the divorce becomes final.

Short-term spousal support has an end date and allows time for the requesting spouse to become self-supporting. The state limits long-term spousal support to cases in which the requesting spouse cannot become financially independent. For example, he or she may have a disability or care for a child who has special needs.

Understanding the terms of Minnesota alimony can help individuals make smart financial decisions in divorce.