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Minnesota Spousal Maintenance

Minnesota Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance refers to regular payments paid from one ex-spouse to another after a divorce.  It is often a horribly contested issue that can breed significant resentment between the couple.  In addition, it’s one of the hardest issues to predict an outcome in Minnesota divorces.

Determining spousal maintenance involves a two step process. First, it must be determined whether spousal maintenance is warranted at all. Second, if it is appropriate, the court must look at how long and how much.

Should there be spousal maintenance?

To figure out whether spousal maintenance should be awarded, the court has to find one of two things.

1. Considering the standard of living of the marriage, the spouse seeking maintenance lacks sufficient property to provide for reasonable needs or

2. Considering the standard of living of the marriage and all relevant circumstances, the spouse seeking maintenance is unable to provide adequate self-support through appropriate employment or is the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that the custodian not be required to seek employment outside the home.

The spouse trying to get maintenance has to prove that one of these conditions is met.

Spousal Maintenance.  How long?  How much?

In terms of length, Minnesota spousal maintenance is usually thought of as either temporary (or rehabilitative) or permanent. Both of these labels are not quite accurate, as either can be modified later depending on future circumstances.

Temporary maintenance is generally designed to provide support for a spouse during a education or training period and will have a fixed end.

Permanent maintenance continues indefinitely unless one of the couple dies, there is a remarriage of the ex-spouse receiving maintenance, or modified by later action through the court.

The amount of maintenance can be widely variable, but is typically based on the income and expenses of both ex-spouses, considering the standard of living of the marriage.

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