Spousal maintenance, otherwise known as “alimony” is alive and well in Minnesota. Many people mistakenly think that the concept of alimony was repealed, which is incorrect. When evaluating whether spousal maintenance is at issue in any given case, lawyers and courts evaluate a number of factors to determine what, if any, maintenance should be awarded and if so, how much and how long.
The statute that governs spousal maintenance, Statute §518.552 identifies a variety of factors to evaluate, including the length of the marriage, the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, the relative income of each party, and the needs of each spouse, the driving factor is to avoid an unfair economic consequence as a result of a divorce. Because courts are allowed broad discretion in determining whether or not to require one spouse to provide support to another, even reasonable people can disagree on spousal maintenance and lawyers can often argue either side of the same set of facts. Spousal maintenance can be one of the most complicated issues to resolve in a divorce proceeding, particularly when coupled with a child support obligation. It is a good idea to get good legal advice if you face a spousal maintenance issue in a divorce proceeding. Feel free to call if you have more detailed questions.