Usually called alimony, spousal maintenance is the legal term for compensation provided by one spouse to another as part of a divorce decree.
While some divorces are amicable, with a higher earning spouse agreeing to help fund a stay-at-home parent’s ongoing care of their collective children, spousal maintenance can also be a complex and sticky issue.
If you gave up a career to raise children, you’re likely entitled to a portion of your former spouse’s ongoing earnings. Likewise, primary breadwinners of a family may want to ensure that the amount they provide in alimony allows you to maintain your own lifestyle.
Whether your spouse is asking for maintenance from you, or you’re asking for maintenance for yourself, Alithis Family Law can help.
Move ahead with a trusted family law team on your side – call today to schedule a free consultation.
Understanding Alimony: Providing for Fair Spousal Support
Spousal maintenance is a financial provision of many divorces.
The intent is to help a lower-earning spouse maintain a certain standard of living, especially if they’ve been financially dependent on the higher-earning spouse during the marriage. It can be awarded on either a temporary or a permanent basis depending on the facts of your particular case.
Navigating the intricacies of alimony in Minnesota requires a thorough understanding of the law and how state standards apply to your situation. In many cases, both parties come to the table with an interest in working towards a fair resolution, particularly when children are involved. However, not every situation lends itself to an obviously agreeable outcome.
In either case, both parties should be well-represented or prepared for a balanced mediation process to ensure fairness and objectivity.
Determining or revising the amount and duration of alimony can be influenced by a variety of factors, including:
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Current earning capacity
- Childcare responsibilities
- Future earning potential
- Age and health status
- Duration of the marriage
- And more
Spouses do have the option to come to a private agreement that waives spousal maintenance altogether, called a Karon waiver. This means that both spouses voluntarily agree that they do not need financial support from the other. Importantly, neither party will be able to return to court at a later date and request maintenance, no matter the circumstance.
In some cases, a spouse may decide to waive maintenance altogether in exchange for a favorable property award as part of the division of property process during a divorce.
How To Get a Fair Alimony Agreement? Work With an Experienced Team
When spousal maintenance is in question, Minnesota law actually requires a thorough evaluation of the income and expenses of both spouses. One of the best ways to ensure a fair and balanced spousal maintenance agreement? A vocational evaluation. This involves a third-party, professional vocational expert trained in evaluating and valuing earning potential for people from all walks of life considering education, work history, occupational background, and more. Their conclusions provide hard evidence for a court or mediator to consider when determining if or how much alimony is appropriate.
Whether you’re just beginning the divorce process and trying to understand spousal maintenance, or you’re negotiating after a messy divorce for a spousal maintenance modification, the alimony attorneys at Alithis Family Law have deep experience dealing with complex spousal maintenance issues and can help you move forward with peace of mind.
Ready to learn more? Contact the spousal maintenance experts at Alithis Law for a balanced look and professional representation during your divorce.