Spousal support, also called spousal maintenance, can help ease the transition to a financially independent household after a divorce. Minnesota couples can either agree on a spousal support arrangement or ask the court to decide on their behalf.
Review the state’s provisions about spousal maintenance if you are facing a divorce and worry that you will be unable to support yourself because you earn less than your spouse.
Grounds for spousal maintenance
You can ask the judge for temporary or permanent spousal maintenance if you cannot work outside the home because you care for a child. You can also request this arrangement if you have limited income and assets and need additional job training or education to earn a reasonable living.
When deciding whether to award spousal support, the judge may consider:
- How each of you contributed to marital property, the household and the other’s career
- Each person’s income, assets and debts
- Your age and physical and emotional health
- Whether you gave up employment opportunities, seniority, earnings or other benefits to serve as a homemaker
- The length of your marriage
- The financial lifestyle you shared as a married couple
- Your ability to become self-supporting with career training or education
- Each person’s share of marital property
- Your child custody and support arrangements if applicable
Minnesota courts do not consider marital misconduct by either person when determining spousal maintenance. The court rarely awards permanent spousal support, though you may qualify if you cannot enter the workforce because of age or disability. Either party can request a modification of maintenance if income or expenses significantly changes.