The family law attorneys at Rogness & Field can help you determine whether spousal maintenance (alimony) is appropriate in your case. Whether spousal maintenance should be awarded is dependent on the individual facts of the case – there is no formula to determine if spousal maintenance should be paid and in what amount. In Minnesota, a court may order one spouse to pay the other spousal maintenance if the spouse seeking spousal maintenance.
1. Lacks sufficient property, including marital property apportioned to the spouse, to provide for reasonable needs of the spouse considering the standard of living established during the marriage, especially, but not limited to, a period of training or education, OR
2. Is unable to provide adequate self-support, after considering the standard of living established during the marriage and all relevant circumstances, through appropriate employment.
If the court decides that an award of spousal maintenance is appropriate, then there are seven factors that need to be analyzed to determine the amount and duration. Those seven factors are:
- The financial resources of the parties;
- The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment;
- The standard of living established during the marriage;
- The duration of the marriage;
- The loss of earnings, seniority, retirement benefits, and other employment opportunities foregone by the spouse seeking maintenance;
- The age, physical and emotional condition 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.
Parties may, by agreement, divest the court of jurisdiction to modify spousal maintenance. This is known as a Karon waiver. If parties agree to a Karon waiver, once spousal maintenance is set, it can never be changed.
Spousal maintenance awards are subject to modification if there has been a change of circumstances which renders the spousal maintenance order unreasonable and unfair.