Divorce Alimony in Minnesota

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An alimony or spousal maintenance is arranged by the court to support the spouse, who is facing crucial monitory difficulties after getting separated from the partner. This type of assistance was initiated by the legal system in the early years of social development. Previously, men were used to undertake the responsibility of earning and women were confined to home-keeping duties. After marital dissolution, these women used to suffer a lot as they were out of employment with very low earning capabilities. Thus, spousal support was given to such spouses to fulfill the requirements of the life. Like other states, Minnesota treats spousal maintenance in the same manner. Later, the equation changed as women starting aspiring for a career and making money. Nowadays, divorce alimony in Minnesota is given to the needy spouse, without considering gender differences.

In this state, support might be permanent, temporary or rehabilitative (till the recipient spouse becomes self dependent). A court is empowered to award, deny or reserve (keep pending) the award of maintenance. In the future, if is there is a considerable change in circumstances of the earning capacity of either spouse, the original award may appear unfair or unreasonable in the altered condition. So, this issue might be readdressed to modify the terms.

Statutes 518.552 of Divorce Alimony in Minnesota

Spousal maintenance is not an obligatory right. Thus, a person has to make an application demanding share in the income of other partner. It will be granted if following conditions are fulfilled:

  • The spouse is the custodian of a child. The circumstances and condition of this child coerce the custodian not to take up a job outside the residence, or
  • The person is not capable to ensure sufficient self support to continue the standard of living that existed in marital life, by means of apt employment, or
  • The person is in dearth of adequate property, inclusive of the marital property allocated to this person during court proceedings to retain the standard of living that was experienced during marital life.

Guidelines observed by the court in Divorce Alimony in Minnesota

The spouse can come to a conclusion regarding this matter. If they do so, they need to submit such accession in the court. Otherwise, the court takes over the matter and determines the amount and period of support by referring to the following points -

  • The financial sources of the partner from whom support is demanded.
  • The inputs and economic sacrifices of a homemaker inclusive of loss of seniority and retirement benefits. As the spouse has been working at home, has he/she foregone employment opportunities?
  • The duration of marital life.
  • The standard of living experienced in marital life.
  • The emotional health, physical state and age of the recipient spouse.
  • The number of months or years that are essential for the partner to gain necessary education and skills to become suitably employed.
  • The financial sources of the spouse requesting maintenance.

Waiver of Minnesota Alimony

The statutes of this state pertaining to spousal support permit the partners seeking divorce to enter a private agreement that prevents the award of maintenance. Such an agreement may be in the form of executed prenuptial agreement or agreement as a part of the dissolution procedure. This is a singular method to waive court order in this state.

Prior to enforcement of this agreement, the court must conclude that the terms of this agreement are fair and equitable. This is done after complete disclosure of the financial conditions of both spouses.

Vocational Evaluation in Minnesota Alimony

When a spouse requests for assistance, the skill level of such a spouse is determined by a Vocational Evaluation. A Qualified Rehabilitative Consultant (QRC) conducts this vocational evaluation. This QRC oversees a sequence of questionnaires that reveal the vocational strengths and weaknesses of the spouse. After this evaluation, the QRC can determine the field the spouse is likely to have maximum success.

Although the results of this evaluation might be challenged during a trial, they have considerable impact on the court regarding the finalization of maintenance.

Termination of Alimony in Minnesota

In this state, some legal provisions describe the conditions under which the court order for spousal maintenance can be ceased automatically. These circumstances are -

  • If a recipient engages in co-habitation or live-in relationship.
  • If such spouse remarries.
  • If a partner getting monitory benefits, dies.

In case of temporary monitory assistance, the expiry of court order occurs immediately after the final result is announced by the court. If a partner requires continuation in maintenance, he or she must apply for "post divorce alimony." It is to be noted that the structure of permanent payment may be different from that of previous support order.

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