In the State of Minnesota, when determining spousal maintenance, there are two primary considerations – the amount of the monthly payment, and the duration, or length of time that the award or obligation will last.  Spousal maintenance is one area of the law in which there are many variables that can affect the amount of and duration of the award.

Generally speaking, the amount of spousal maintenance is determined by the need of the party seeking the award.  To determine need, the court looks at that party’s reasonable monthly living expenses, that party’s income, and then determines whether the income is sufficient to meet the need.  Then, it looks at the need of the person from whom spousal maintenance is sought, determines whether that person has enough income to meet his or her needs and whether there is enough “extra” income to merit an award of spousal maintenance to the other party.  There are many variables that need to be developed – earning capacity, length of time away from the job market, loss of earning potential are just a few.

To determine the duration of spousal maintenance, many courts look at the length of the marriage.  The age of the parties is also considered, along with her or his potential for learning new job skills and returning to the job market.

Spousal maintenance is very complex.  Unlike child support, there are no spousal maintenance guidelines in Minnesota.  If you are going to go through a divorce and you will need spousal maintenance, it is very important that you retain an experienced attorney.  Similarly, if you are going to go through a divorce and you do not want to pay spousal maintenance, you need an experienced attorney.  There are strategies for promoting or defending a spousal maintenance claim that only experienced attorneys will know.

If you would like more information, or if you would like to set up an appointment for a free divorce case analysis, feel free to call Minnesota attorney Daniel Fiskum at (952) 270-7700.  Daniel Fiskum is the owner of Minnetonka Family Law, P.A., located in the Carlson Towers in Minnetonka.  The address is 610 Carlson Parkway, Suite 1290, Minnetonka, Minnesota, 55305.  Minnetonka Family Law, P.A., is conveniently located at the intersection of Highway 394 and Highway 494 in Minnetonka, Minnesota.

Daniel Fiskum has been named a “Super Lawyer” by the Minnesota Journal of Law and Politics.  He is a 1992 graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Law, and a member of the divorce section of the American Bar Association, and a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association.  He has practiced family law in Minnesota continuously since 1992.