When going through a divorce in Minnesota, our clients often want to know what they need to do to establish spousal support. Family law attorneys at Perusse Nixon PLLC know that divorce can have significant financial impacts, and it is important that you secure the support you need to maintain your lifestyle and meet your financial obligations. To understand how spousal support is established, it is helpful to know the basics of Minnesota spousal support law.
Minnesota Spousal Support Basics
Upon dissolution of marriage, Minnesota courts sometimes grant spousal support, known as “maintenance” to one party, depending on case circumstances. Spousal maintenance is generally granted when a party can show that he or she lacks the assets and income to provide for his or her reasonable monthly needs, based on the marital standard of living and other factors.
Factors That Impact Spousal Support Awards
No two divorce circumstances are the same, and there are many factors that courts will examine when determining the amount and duration of spousal support. Those factors are:
- the financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to the party, and the party’s ability to meet needs independently, including the extent to which a provision for support of a child living with the party includes a sum for that party as custodian;
- the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment, and the probability, given the party’s age and skills, of completing education or training and becoming fully or partially self-supporting;
- the standard of living established during the marriage;
- the duration of the marriage and, in the case of a homemaker, the length of absence from employment and the extent to which any education, skills, or experience have become outmoded and earning capacity has become permanently diminished;
- the loss of earnings, seniority, retirement benefits and other employment opportunities forgone by the spouse seeking spousal maintenance;
- the age, and the physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance;
- the ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance; and
- the contribution of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation, or appreciation in the amount or value of the marital property, as well as the contribution of a spouse as a homemaker or in furtherance of the other party’s employment or business.
Additionally, if you previously entered into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, the contract may dictate the terms of spousal support, if any, in your case. Marital agreement terms as to spousal support will impact your divorce unless the court finds that the contract is invalid or unenforceable. It is important to seek the advice of an attorney regarding any marital agreement that you previously signed and how it may or may not impact spousal support and other divorce matters.
Establishing Spousal Support In Minnesota
There is no formula or calculation for spousal support, which means that if you are not able to reach an agreement, the decision is entirely up to the judge in your case, and his or her decision will be based on the facts offered at trial. With over 30 years of combined family law experience, attorneys at Perusse Nixon PLLC know how important it is to prepare and present your case to the court so that you have the best chance for a favorable outcome.
If you are going through a divorce and have questions about spousal support or any other family law matter, contact our office at 612-564-2075 or online to schedule a low-cost consultation.