Six Things Worth Knowing about Spousal Maintenance

Six Things Worth Knowing about Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance – or alimony – is a divorce term that applies only under specific circumstances. When applicable, however, it can play a very important financial role. Knowing the basics when it comes to spousal maintenance can help you better understand your own case. Discuss your spousal maintenance concerns with an experienced Minnesota spousal maintenance attorney today. 

One: Spousal Maintenance Is Need-Based

In Minnesota, spousal maintenance is based on the recipient’s financial need, and this need can be categorized in both of the following ways:

  • Divorce will leave the spouse seeking alimony without sufficient assets to continue providing for their own reasonable needs – in relation to the standard of living achieved during the marriage. 
  • The spouse who is requesting alimony is the primary caregiver of a shared child with special needs whose care requirements preclude the parent from working outside the home.

Many states allow factors related to wrongdoing, such as adultery or financial improprieties, to directly or indirectly affect the spousal maintenance calculation, but Minnesota is not among them. 

Two: You and Your Spouse Can Negotiate Your Own Spousal Maintenance Terms  

Most people are in complete agreement on one thing when it comes to divorce terms, and that is that retaining decision-making power between themselves is preferable to needing the court’s intervention. You and your divorcing spouse can avail yourself of every opportunity to negotiate spousal maintenance terms that are mutually acceptable.  

Three: There Is No Spousal Maintenance Formula

When Minnesota courts make alimony determinations, they turn to a wide range of factors like the following, but they have no set calculation process:

  • The duration of the marriage
  • The recipient’s work history and whether or not their absence from the workforce affects their earning capacity
  • The recipient’s age and overall health
  • The recipient’s financial resources 
  • The couple’s standard of living at the time of divorce
  • The amount of time necessary for the recipient to gain financial independence 

Four: Spousal Maintenance Takes Two Forms

Spousal maintenance can take two primary forms in Minnesota, including:

  • Temporary maintenance that is designed to help support the recipient while the divorce is pending, or that is set for a fixed period post-divorce while the recipient acquires the education or experience necessary to gain financial independence
  • Permanent maintenance, which is long-term maintenance with no specific end date that can be modified or terminated later and that generally applies only after marriages of many years

Five: Spousal Maintenance Ends with Remarriage

If the recipient of spousal maintenance remarries, the payments end automatically – unless there is a contractual agreement that says otherwise. Cohabitation with a romantic partner can have the same effect. 

Six: The Tax Roles Have Been Reversed

While alimony payments used to be deducted from the payor’s income and were considered the recipient’s taxable income, the federal tax roles have been reversed. The recipient is no longer taxed, and the payor no longer receives a tax deduction. 

Turn to an Experienced Minnesota Spousal Maintenance Attorney for the Help You Need

The knowledgeable Minnesota spousal maintenance attorneys at Atticus Family Law have the resources, years of experience, and drive to help guide your case toward a favorable resolution that honors your rights and best interests. Learn more by contacting us today.

Posted On

May 16, 2023

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