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Dec 28 2022

5 Factors Assessed when Figuring Spousal Support

While not all divorces address the matter of spousal support, this divorce term can play an important financial role in those divorces that leave one spouse without the financial means to support themself while the other spouse is financially equipped to help. When a spouse seeks spousal support – also called spousal maintenance or alimony – the courts take a range of factors into consideration in the determination process, and having a better understanding of the five primary factors can help. If you have questions or concerns about spousal support, seek the legal guidance of an experienced Minnesota divorce attorney. 

One: The Duration of the Marriage

The longer the marriage, the more likely the court is to consider and order spousal support. After a marriage of many years, the spouse who has a financial need is less likely to bounce back into the work world – with a job that allows them to support themself financially – than they might be after a short-term marriage in which their earning power is less likely to have diminished considerably. Further, because Minnesota courts take contributions to the marriage, such as caring for the children and managing the home, into careful consideration, these contributions are likely to be far more significant after a marriage of many years. 

Two: The Size of the Financial Discrepancy

The wider the gap between the spouse who is requesting alimony and the spouse who will be required to pay it, the more likely spousal support becomes. If one spouse earns a very good living and the other has limited earning power, the court may order spousal support to help restore financial balance. 

Three: The Standard of Living Achieved during Marriage

The higher the standard of living you achieved during your marriage, the more likely spousal support becomes. If divorce will leave one of you living far from this standard, the court may order spousal support to help effect a fairer outcome.

Four: The Length of Time Necessary to Gain Financial Independence

When spousal support is awarded, it is generally calculated in relation to the amount of time the recipient will need to support themselves financially, which often means obtaining one or more of the following:

  • Additional education
  • Job skills
  • Job training
  • Experience  

The probability of the recipient returning to work in terms of their age and overall health will also factor in.

Five: Extenuating Circumstances

If the spouse requesting spousal support has a permanent disability of their own that precludes them from working or staying home to care for a child of the marriage who has serious physical or mental health concerns, spousal support is far more likely to be awarded. 

Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Minnesota Divorce Attorney Today

The driven Minnesota divorce attorneys at Atticus Family Law take considerable pride in their well-established track record of successfully guiding spousal support cases like yours toward advantageous outcomes that uphold our clients’ financial rights. To learn more, please don’t delay contacting us today.

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