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What factors may Minnesota courts consider when awarding alimony?


One hotly contested issue in many Minnesota divorces is that of spousal support -- also referred to as alimony. Some spouses may feel they shouldn't have to pay alimony, but other spouses may feel that such payments are necessary for them to get by financially. Fortunately, Minnesota statutes address the issue of alimony in a divorce.


There are a number of factors the court may consider when determining an award of alimony. For example, the court may consider the financial resources of the spouse seeking alimony, including the marital property that spouse needs, along with that spouse's ability to live independently. Another factor is the time it will take for the spouse seeking alimony to obtain an education to find an appropriate job, along with the probability of whether the spouse seeking alimony will be able to become self-supporting based on the spouse's age and skills. A third factor is the standard of living the couple had while married.

A fourth factor is how long the marriage lasted and if one spouse stayed at home the extent to which their education or work experience have become permanently diminished. Similarly, the loss of income, seniority, retirement benefits and other job opportunities the spouse seeking alimony lost while married may be considered. The age and health of the spouse seeking alimony may also be considered. However, it is not all about the spouse seeking alimony -- the ability of the spouse from whom alimony is being sought to meet his or her financial needs may also be taken into account.

There is no formula in Minnesota for an alimony award -- each case will be taken on an individual basis, and this post cannot promise any specific result. If you are seeking alimony, a family law attorney can assess your case and provide you with legal advice regarding this and other divorce legal issues.

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