According to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 243,000 individuals received spousal support payments in 2016. After deciding to end a marriage, alimony or spousal maintenance is among the key divorce issues the couples need to resolve. The purpose of spousal support is to enable the receiving spouse to maintain a basic living standard while trying to become self-supporting.
If you are considering filing for divorce and trying to understand your options regarding spousal maintenance, consulting with an experienced Minnesota family law attorney is important for proper guidance. The Law Office of Glen A. Norton is highly knowledgeable in family law matters, including alimony. Attorney Glen A. Norton is available to discuss your situation and help you understand your options. Whether you're trying to negotiate alimony amounts or modify a prearranged spousal support agreement, he can offer you the detailed legal counsel and advocacy you need.
The Law Office of Glen A. Norton is proud to serve clients throughout Minnetonka, Minnesota, and the surrounding areas of Eden Prairie, Wayzata, Plymouth, Maple Grove, and Hennepin County.
Spousal support, also known as spousal maintenance or alimony, is court-ordered financial assistance paid by the higher-earning spouse to the non- or lower-earning spouse for a period after finalizing their divorce.
In Minnesota, there are three types of alimony — temporary, short-term, or long-term.
Temporary alimony may be awarded if the court finds that one spouse needs financial assistance during the divorce proceedings to pay attorney fees and meet other daily expenses during the divorce. Temporary support will end once the judge finalizes the divorce (Minnesota Statutes Section 518.62).
Short-term maintenance may be awarded if the requesting spouse is capable of becoming self-supporting, but needs more time to acquire education or job skills to seek employment. Short-term alimony ends on a date specified in the spousal support order.
In extreme situations where the requesting spouse can never become self-supporting, the judge may award long-term maintenance. For example, the spouse has a physical disability or is unable to find employment due to their age or physical condition.
Alimony may be awarded to either spouse. According to Minnesota Statutes Section 518.552, in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, the court may grant a maintenance order for either spouse if it finds that the spouse seeking maintenance:
Lacks sufficient property to provide for his or her reasonable needs
Is unable to provide adequate self-support
Is the custodian of a child in need, which makes the parent unable to seek employment
If the requesting spouse meets the grounds for spousal maintenance to be awarded, the following factors may be considered to determine the type, amount, and duration of alimony (Minnesota Statutes Section 518.552 (2)):
The duration of the marriage
The standard of living established during the marriage
The financial resources of the requesting spouse, including marital property, and the spouse's ability to meet their needs independently
The age and physical and emotional condition of the requesting spouse
The time needed for the requesting spouse to acquire education or training to find employment and become self-supporting
Each spouse's contribution to the marriage
The requesting spouse's loss of earnings, retirement benefits, seniority, or other employment benefits during the marriage
The ability of the paying spouse to remain financially independent while paying spousal maintenance
In the absence of an agreement not to review the support order, the court may modify an existing spousal maintenance arrangement provided the requesting spouse shows that there has been a "significant change in circumstance" since the last order was made.
Filing for divorce in Minnesota is more complex than you may think. Establishing spousal maintenance payments or negotiating a fair divorce settlement can make the entire process even more stressful and overwhelming. When preparing for a divorce, consulting with an experienced Minnesota family law attorney is imperative for detailed guidance on spousal support agreements.
Attorney Glen A. Norton has devoted his career to guiding clients through the complexities of family law, including spousal support matters. As your legal counsel, he can review your circumstances, enlighten you about your available options, and determine the best course of action. The Law Office of Glen A. Norton can offer you the experienced legal guidance, assistance, and advocacy you need to establish or modify a spousal maintenance agreement.
If you are considering filing for divorce and want to understand your rights regarding alimony agreements, contact The Law Office of Glen A. Norton today. Attorney Glen A. Norton can provide the comprehensive legal counsel and strong advocacy you need to make informed decisions. The firm serves clients throughout Minnetonka, Eden Prairie, Wayzata, Plymouth, Maple Grove, and Hennepin County, Minnesota.