Determining Spousal Maintenance

When a couple divorces, the court may require one party to pay support or alimony to the other. While the standard may seem “set,” it is actually a constantly changing area of the law. Every case is different and no one can accurately predict exactly what the terms will be. Fault is not a factor that influences whether to award maintenance or the amount.

The three types of spousal maintenance in Minnesota are temporary, short-term, and long-term.

  • Temporary maintenance is paid while the divorce is pending. The amount is based on needs and ability to pay of each spouse.
  • Short-term maintenance are payments made for a limited time after the divorce is final. These are to assist the ex-spouse with job training or education, and to rehabilitate the spouse.
  • A long-term or permanent maintenance may be ordered by a judge to either spouse if the party seeking maintenance can show they do not have sufficient property to provide for their reasonable needs and are unable to provide for their own support.

With over a decade as a family law attorney and even more years spent working in the courts, Eileen Krenner can efficiently assess your situation and also offer insight into what will influence a spousal maintenance claim and the potential amount of those payments and the duration of the obligation.

What Influences The Amount Award?

There is no set standard in Minnesota for how much the spousal maintenance award will be. But several factors do directly influence the award amount including:

  • The financial resources and earning ability of each party
  • The time needed for one party to achieve employment training or attain an education
  • What each party contributed to the marriage
  • The marital standard of living
  • The length of the marriage
  • The age and physical capabilities of each spouse, especially the party seeking maintenance

Making Changes To Spousal Maintenance

There are, however, valid reasons to make changes to this payment. If someone’s income changes, or expenses change, or one person retires, there may be a basis to make alimony modifications. Even some “permanent” spousal maintenance awards are actually less permanent than others. For example, if one party remarries, this can influence the spousal maintenance award.

As a lawyer at Krenner Law LLC, I have worked with numerous clients to ensure that court orders are reasonable and that they are followed. I know that every divorce is different. Sometimes each party wishes to forego litigation and work together on negotiation and make this process as effective and expedient as possible. In those instances, I can guide clients through cost-effective alternative dispute resolution and mediation as viable alternatives.

If you would like to meet to find out more about Minnesota spousal maintenance and how I can help, then call 651-447-6478 and schedule an appointment in my Oakdale office. You may also email me. I serve clients throughout the Twin Cities. Krenner Law LLC. Since 2012.