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What is the difference between alimony and spousal maintenance?
The terms “alimony” and “spousal maintenance” are synonymous—but Minnesota now legally uses the term “spousal maintenance”. Spousal maintenance can be awarded to either the husband or the wife. If a party to a divorce thinks he is entitled to spousal maintenance, he should contact a qualified St. Paul and Minneapolis family lawyer. Steven H. Snyder & Associates can advise a party regarding spousal maintenance.
Determining the Issuance Spousal Maintenance Awards
- Does the spouse lack sufficient property? Property includes marital property awarded in the divorce settlement to provide for the reasonable needs of a spouse. The needs of a spouse are based on the standard of living the spouse was used to during the marriage. If a spouse is trying to get additional training or education, spousal maintenance may also be considered.
- Is the spouse able to provide adequate self-support? After the standard of living is considered, the Court will consider whether the requesting spouse can provide self-support with adequate and appropriate employment.
- Is the spouse providing for a child or children with one or more conditions or circumstances that make it so that the spouse cannot be required to work outside of the home?
If a party meets any of these requirements, he or she may be entitled to spousal support in addition to child support (if there are minor children involved). The requesting spouse may be entitled to spousal support, even if there are no children born of the marriage or if the children born of the marriage are emancipated. An experienced Minneapolis and St. Paul family lawyer can assist with this.
How Much Alimony Is Usually Awarded to a Spouse?
There is no set formula that the courts use to determine spousal maintenance, as there is with child support. Spousal maintenance is a matter of the discretion of the court, in addition to the above. In determining the amount of spousal maintenance, the Court must also consider:
- The financial resources of the party requesting spousal maintenance;
- The amount of time required for the party requesting spousal maintenance to get the necessary education and/or skills for adequate and/or appropriate employment;
- The age of the requesting spouse;
- The physical and emotional health of the requesting spouse;
- The length of the marriage;
- How much was contributed to the household by the requesting spouse
When using the contribution test, contributions include the sacrifices of a mother and a homemaker-—for example, loss of retirement benefits and employment opportunities. In addition to the requirements that need to be met by the requesting party, the Court must also take into consideration the financial resources of the other spouse.
Our St. Paul and Minneapolis family attorneys can help explain these requirements and advise a party of his or her rights. Please contact our law firm now and get our team on your side.