5 Common Questions About Alimony

When it comes to alimony, otherwise known as spousal support or spousal maintenance, there are a lot of factors that come into play. This can be made even more confusing for some because there isn’t a set calculation, like the child support calculator, that determines alimony in Minnesota. Because of this, divorcing couples may have a lot of questions in regards to how this is all figured out. Here are 5 of the most common questions asked.

1. Can I make a claim for alimony?

The short answer to this question is yes if certain requirements are met, then you can make a claim for alimony. These requirements include the inability to meet the standard of living that you had during the marriage and/or the inability to support yourself even though you are employed. If the judge sees that these requirements are met, then your case could be considered.

2. What factors are taken into consideration?

One factor that is taken into consideration in terms of alimony is how long the marriage lasted. The amount of debt each party may have, the assets which will be awarded to each, and the income of the spouse, or potential income, who is requesting the support will be looked at. The income and financial standing of the spouse who is expected to pay the alimony will also be a big factor.

The education, training, skill set, and ability to work will be looked at for the spouse seeking support and the standard of living maintained during the marriage will also be considered. Both spouses financial and other contributions to the marriage will also be a determining factor.

3. What types of maintenance are there?

There are two types of maintenance that are generally awarded in Minnesota. These are temporary, or rehabilitative maintenance,  or permanent maintenance.

Temporary maintenance is generally only paid until the person receiving the maintenance can get back on their feet in order to support him or herself. This gives the spouse who is receiving the alimony time to figure out their employment situation and receive any necessary training or sometimes education.

Temporary, or short-term maintenance, can go on after the divorce has been finalized, but is generally only going to stay in place until the spouse receiving the alimony has had enough time to receive the training and/or schooling necessary to find a job that allows them to support themselves fully.

Permanent, or long-term, maintenance is generally considered when the couple has been married for a long period of time and during this time one spouse worked full time to support the family and the other stayed home to raise the children. This is also considered if the spouse receiving the alimony is elderly or has other mental or physical disabilities that doesn’t allow them to support themselves.

4. When is alimony generally not considered?

There are situations where alimony generally won’t be considered. If the marriage was very short then alimony may not be a possibility. Also, if both spouses worked full-time during the marriage and are capable of supporting themselves without any assistance from the other, then alimony may not be necessary or considered.

5. What is the best way to figure out alimony?

The best way to figure out your alimony is with the help of an attorney. They can help you to figure out your alimony outside of court using effective methods, such as the collaborative practice process or through divorce mediation. The collaborative practice process involves both spouses communicating directly with each other and their attorneys with the agreement that they will not go to court, while divorce mediation involves a third party to mediate this same type of communication. If alimony can’t be determined in this manner, then your attorney will be there to help you present your case to the judge in court.

To hire an attorney to help you figure out the alimony in your divorce, visit us at Beckman Steen & Lungstrom, P.A.