Are you getting a divorce in Minnesota and want your ex to pay you spousal support (also known as alimony)? Your lawyer will work hard to make a case for you that gives you the best chance of getting it. While spousal support is not awarded as often as it once was, there are still some circumstances under which you may qualify for it. In the past, spousal support was usually intended for women who did not work and who could not support themselves after a divorce. Today, it is generally expected that most people of both genders should be able to support themselves, so spousal support is not as common. If you believe you deserve it, though, you may be right. The court takes several things into consideration in determining whether to award spousal support in Minnesota. Here's what you need to know.
1. Either Spouse May Ask for Spousal Support If They Are Unable to Work
Spousal support isn't just for women anymore. According to DivorceNet.com, either spouse may ask for spousal support during or after a divorce. The main reason for asking for support is usually because one spouse is unable to work. This could be because of a disability, a lack of education or employable skills, or because the requesting spouse has the full-time care of a child who has not yet started school.
In any of these cases, a judge is highly likely to award some kind of spousal support to the requesting spouse. The requesting spouse must receive enough money each month to maintain the standard of living they were used to during the marriage.
2. Many Different Factors Are Taken Into Consideration When Determining the Amount of a Spousal Support Award
If the court is considering your spousal support application, it will take many different factors into consideration when determining an amount. Some of the things the court will look at when determining the amount of your award include:
How long you were married (longer marriages tend to get higher awards)
Your standard of living during the marriage
Your personal financial resources separate from your spouse, including property
Contributions you made to the upkeep of the home, if you were a stay-at-home spouse
Your age and level of health (both physical and mental)
The amount of time it would take for you to get training to get a job that would pay enough to support you
The financial resources of your spouse (as a paying spouse cannot be ordered to pay so much that it affects their own ability to pay their bills)
3. Spousal Support Is Usually Not Forever
You could be awarded temporary or permanent spousal support in Minnesota. However, a temporary award is much more likely, as it is expected that you will eventually be able to go to work at a job that will completely support your financial needs. If a permanent award is granted because of your health (such as if you are disabled) or because you are considered too old to reasonably expect to get employment, that award will be re-examined by the court on a periodic basis.
If anything in your circumstances has changed that makes it possible for you to become employed, the permanent spousal support order will be revoked and turned into a temporary one that only lasts until you are employed. Even in cases of permanent support orders, the obligation of the paying spouse may be lifted if that spouse becomes unemployed or retires.
If you are divorcing in Minnesota, talk to your lawyer about whether you will likely qualify for spousal support. If you have a chance at getting it, your lawyer will make sure your case for it is strong.
You can also come up with a private support agreement with your spouse and leave the court out of it. However, if you and your spouse can't come to an agreement, get started on putting your case for support together today.