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Frequently Asked Spousal Maintenance Questions

Q: What is alimony? How is it awarded in Minnesota?

A: A spouse may be entitled to alimony, which is referred to as spousal maintenance in Minnesota.

Spousal maintenance is an award of ongoing monetary support from one spouse to another in a marital dissolution or legal separation [Minn. Stat. § 518.003, 3(a)]. There are many factors that a Court will consider to determine whether a spouse qualifies for temporary support, permanent support, or any support at all.

There is no specific formula for determining an amount or duration of spousal maintenance. Generally, the Court evaluates a spouse’s ability to earn income, both parties budgets, and the length of the marriage.

It can be very difficult to formulate accurate budgets and assess future ability to earn income. Therefore, legal representation is highly recommended where spousal maintenance is at issue.

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