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How Does Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) Work In Minnesota?

There are no set formulas for determining spousal maintenance (also known as alimony) and the courts have lots of discretion in awarding it.  Minnesota law sets forth a number of factors that the court is supposed to consider, including:


  * The financial resurces of the spouse seeking maintenance.

  * The time needed for education or training to allow the spouse seeking maintenance to get a full-time job, and how much that spouse is likely to earn.

  * The standard of living during the marriage.

  * The length of the marriage.

  * The age and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance.

  * The ability of the other spouse to pay maintenance while still meeting his or her own needs.


The basic issue boils down to the needs of the spouse seeking maintenance weighed against the ability of the other spouse to pay it.


Spousal maintenance can be either temporary (for a set period) or permanent (no set endpoint).  In either case, you can bring a motion to modify maintenance under certain conditions.  


It is rare for spousal maintenance to be awarded in a short-term marriage (one that has lasted less than seven or eight years).

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