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How do Minnesota courts determine the spousal support amount?

Spousal support, or alimony, in Minnesota is based on the principle of equity. Under the principle, the family courts usually see to it that no one is financially or otherwise adversely affected due to the divorce.

The existing principle of alimony law states that, even in cases where one of the spouses was the sole breadwinner or in cases where there is a huge difference in the amount of wealth between the spouses, the spouse who has a greater share of the wealth might have to pay spousal support or maintenance to the other spouse, depending on the circumstances.

However, the former spouse who is seeking spousal support must prove that the person does not have the financial means to adequately maintain the proper lifestyle without alimony payments. The standard of living that the spouse maintained during the marriage is also an important factor when calculating the exact amount of spousal support and maintenance that the spouse deserves to be paid by the other spouse. In most cases, both spouses in a spousal support case after the divorce proceedings hire experienced family law or divorce lawyers in order to represent their case in court.

Depending on the circumstances of the case, the family court judge may order that spousal support, on a temporary or a permanent basis, to be paid. The amount is calculated based on the earning capacity of the supporting spouse along with the standard of living that both of the spouses had when they were married. Factors like the amount and valuation of the property that comes from the property division as well as any child support amount that might be received by the custodial parent seeking alimony will also be taken into consideration in order to calculate the exact amount of maintenance that the supporting spouse should pay.

Source: Minnesota Statutes, "Maintenance," Accessed on May 14, 2015

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