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Is Spousal Support Always Awarded After a Divorce in Minnesota?

by | Apr 21, 2021 | Divorce, Spousal Support & Alimony

After a marital separation in Minnesota, the financially disadvantaged partner may be eligible to receive ongoing payments from their former spouse. You may be wondering: Is alimony guaranteed after a divorce in Minnesota? The answer is ‘no’—spousal support will only be granted if certain basic criteria are satisfied. In this article, our Mankato alimony lawyers offer a guide to Minnesota’s laws on spousal support/spousal maintenance.

Alimony in Minnesota: Understanding the Eligibility Requirements

As noted, spousal support is not guaranteed after a divorce—neither for a wife or a husband. Alimony laws are gender neutral and support will only be awarded if deemed necessary and appropriate. Under Minnesota Law (Minnesota Statutes Sec. 518.552), a divorcing spouse may be eligible for spousal support if:

They lack sufficient financial resources (income/savings/property) to provide themselves with a reasonable standard of living that they became accustomed to during the marriage; and/or
They are unable to obtain employment that provides such a standard of living, based on their health condition or custodial parental duties.

In other words, Minnesota courts only award spousal support if there is a significant financial gap between the current and future earning potential of the parties. When there is a large gap, spousal support may be appropriate—though the specific circumstances of the case always matter.

An Overview of the Types of Alimony in Minnesota

There are actually three different types of alimony in Minnesota. Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, you or your former partner may be entitled to:

  • Temporary Spousal Maintenance: Sometimes called rehabilitative alimony, this type of spousal support assists the financially-challenged partner with their post-divorce transition.
  • Short-Term Spousal Maintenance: Short-term spousal maintenance is typically awarded to a spouse who needs some time to get back on their feet. It could allow them to get a degree or job training.
  • Long-Term Spousal Maintenance: Generally only granted after the end of a 10+ year marriage, long-term spousal maintenance can be awarded when appropriate.

The Factors Minnesota Courts Consider

In our state, courts are required to consider the specific facts of the cases determining if (and how much) alimony should be awarded after a divorce. Some factors that Minnesota law instructs courts to consider include:

  • The length of the marriage;
  • Current and future financial prospects of each party;
  • The standard of living during the marriage;
  • Each spouse’s contribution to marriage/family life;
  • Each spouse’s age and health status; and
  • Any other factors deemed necessary to make an equitable decision.

Schedule a Confidential Consultation With a Minnesota Divorce Lawyer

At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., our Mankato family law attorneys are passionate, reliable advocates for people and families. If you have questions about spousal maintenance and divorce, we are here to get you answers. Contact us today for a fully confidential, no commitment review and assessment of your case. With legal offices in Mankato and Rochester, we provide top quality family law services throughout all of Southern Minnesota.