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 the income 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.
  • A long-term or permanent maintenance may be ordered by a judge if the marriage lasted over a decade. If an ex-spouse is unable to become self-supporting, long-term maintenance may also be ordered.

With over a decade as a family law attorney and even more years spent working in the courts, Krenner Law LLC can efficiently assess your situation and advise you on what your payments are likely to be and why. I can also offer insight into what will influence the amount of those payments.

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 assist in 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 Saint Paul office. You may also email me. Your initial visit is absolutely free. I serve clients throughout the Twin Cities. Krenner Law LLC. Since 2006.