Spousal Maintenance / Alimony – There is No Calculator

In Minnesota there is no set formulae for determining how much spousal maintenance / alimony the judge might order you to pay.  Rather, the judge will consider a laundry list of things which are set forth below, and come up with a number he thinks is supported by the evidence.  Meaning, a number he thinks the person paying can afford to pay while still meeting his/her own living expenses after considering all of the income and assets available to both spouses.  Each judge is a little different, and although an experienced divorce attorney can provide you with a good idea, there is simply no way of knowing just exactly how much maintenance / alimony the judge will order in the end.  For this reason, as well as the fact that court hearings are very expensive, many people try to resolve spousal maintenance issues by agreement.  If you simply cannot reach an agreement regarding spousal maintenance in your case, get ready for the effort and expense of providing the judge with evidence regarding each of the following 8 factors. 

Spousal Maintenance / Alimony Factors

  1. The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to the party, and the party’s ability to meet needs independently, including child support to a certain extent;
  2. The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment, and the probability, given the party’s age and skills, of completing education or training and becoming fully or partially self-supporting;
  3. The standard of living established during the marriage;
  4. The duration of the marriage, and in the case of a homemaker, the length of absence from employment and the extent to which any education, skills, or experience have become outmoded and earning capacity has become permanently diminished;
  5. The loss of earnings, seniority, retirement benefits, and other employment opportunities forgone by the spouse seeking spousal maintenance;
  6. The age, and the physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance;
  7. The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance; and
  8. The contribution of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation, or appreciation in the amount or value of the marital property, as well as the contribution of a spouse as a homemaker or in furtherance of the other party’s employment or business.
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