Facing divorce as a stay-at-home parent or as a minimal-earning spouse can be intimidating. When you have concerns about your ability to make ends meet in the transition, you might qualify for spousal support.
Understanding how the Minnesota courts view spousal support can help you prepare.
Financial need determines spousal support in Minnesota.
While some states award spousal support as a punitive measure against the wrongful spouse in a fault-based divorce, Minnesota does not use spousal support as a punitive order.
Instead, spousal support is a need-based system. Spouses without enough assets to provide for their own needs to the same standards after divorce often receive spousal support awards. The same applies to spouses who are caring for a child with a disability or other condition that prevents them from working.
The judge determines the amount of spousal support for each case.
There are no charts and guidelines for spousal support like there are for most child support systems. Instead, the judge considers the duration of the marriage, the incomes and potential earnings for both parties, each party’s contributions to the marriage and the standard of living that both spouses enjoyed during the marriage.
You might receive temporary or permanent spousal support depending on the judge’s order. In either case, you can also come to an agreement on the amount between you before you go to court. Consider your situation and the goals you have for financial stability after your divorce when you decide if you want to pursue spousal support.