You and your spouse have decided to call it quits, and you feel a sense of relief. At the same time, though, you feel anxious about how you will support yourself following the divorce.
Fortunately, you may be eligible to receive spousal maintenance, which may help you to stay afloat financially following your marital breakup. Here is a look at how courts handle spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, in Minnesota.
Alimony in Minnesota
During the dissolution of a marriage, you have the option of petitioning the court for spousal maintenance if you earn less than the other party. State law allows this so that you may still maintain a reasonable living standard going forward -- one similar to the one you had before your divorce. As a general rule of thumb, courts are more likely to order longer alimony periods for marriages that lasted longer.
How much alimony can you expect?
The state has not established a certain amount required for alimony. Instead, the amount you end up receiving will be based on various factors. These include, for example, your financial resources as well as the amount of time needed for you to obtain adequate training or education to find proper employment.
Another consideration is the probability, based on your skill level and age, that you will complete education to become partially or fully self-supporting. In addition, other factors that the court will take into consideration include any retirement benefits, employment opportunities or earnings you gave up during the marriage.
How long will you receive alimony?
Following your divorce, you may receive short-term, long-term or permanent alimony. The short-term version may exist for as long as you are in vocational training, for example. Meanwhile, you can expect the long-term or permanent version if you were married for more than a decade or if you cannot support yourself financially. You may also receive permanent alimony if you have to care for a child who has significant medical, physical or mental needs.
Your rights in a divorce case involving alimony
If you and your future ex-spouse can find common ground when it comes to alimony, you may be able to address this matter in a divorce settlement agreement, thus avoiding further court intrusion. Otherwise, you must go to trial, where a judge will determine how to handle spousal maintenance for you both. Either way, you have the right to pursue the most personally favorable outcome given your financial situation post divorce.