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Spousal maintenance offers financial stability after divorce

If you have been financially dependent upon your spouse and now you are going through a divorce, your economic outlook may not seem too bright. Figuring out your monetary situation can be a challenge. Thankfully, many Minnesota residents qualify for spousal maintenance, which offers them financial stability when they need it most.

Can I seek alimony? How much can I get? How long will my spouse have to pay?

Spousal support is also called alimony

Spousal support, also referred to as alimony, is money provided by an ex-spouse. It is sometimes awarded to help a financially dependent spouse get on his or her feet. It may also be awarded on a long-term basis if one gets divorced after a lengthy marriage or just before or during one’s retirement years.

Determining eligibility

Spousal maintenance is not a benefit offered in every divorce case. The court will look at a number of factors to determine if you are eligible to receive it. Some of these include:

  • Your age
  • Your spouse’s age
  • Duration of your marriage
  • Your earning capacity
  • Your spouse’s income level
  • The marital standard of living

Not only will these factors determine eligibility, the court will also use these to determine the length of time you will receive alimony if awarded in your case.

Types of alimony

The awarding of spousal support is most often on a rehabilitative basis. This means that one’s ex-spouse will only have to pay for a set period of time. This is usually just a few years until one is able to financially support himself or herself.

Long-term alimony may be a possibility. Permanent spousal support is an option in Minnesota, which is not the case in every state. Again, it will all depend on the various factors that the court will review.

Enforcing a spousal support order

If awarded alimony, the paying spouse will have to make timely payments to a court approved depository. The funds will then be transferred to you. If your ex fails to make the ordered payments, you may go back to court for a contempt proceeding in order to seek payment.

Think you qualify?

If you believe that you have met all of the eligibility requirements to receive spousal maintenance, you can request it as part of your divorce settlement. An experienced family law attorney can help you negotiate this privately or assist you in filing the appropriate petition in court.

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