Spousal support, sometimes called alimony, is often a misunderstood concept. If you face the end of your marriage, you should understand how spousal support works in Minnesota.
Get the truth behind these four common alimony myths.
Only women receive alimony
Spousal support traditionally assisted divorcing women who served as homemakers and did not have an independent income. Today, however, gender does not play a role in alimony awards. Minnesota courts consider the financial resources of both spouses, whether either spouse stayed home with children, how you supported one another’s careers and several other factors.
Alimony lasts forever
Permanent alimony has largely become a relic. Generally, the length of alimony payments will reflect the length of the marriage. Minnesota recognizes short-term alimony, which allows one spouse to seek education or job training to become financially independent. The state may allow long-term alimony if you cannot become self-supporting because you care for a child with special needs or if the marriage lasted longer than a decade.
Infidelity always results in alimony
Minnesota does not consider the reasons for the end of the marriage when awarding spousal support in a divorce. Allegations of abuse, infidelity, substance use and other forms of misconduct do not influence whether or not you have legal eligibility for alimony.
The court must determine alimony
You and your former spouse can decide on a fair spousal support arrangement together. You can also come to an agreement in mediation.
If you cannot agree, you can ask the Minnesota family court to determine spousal support during your divorce proceedings. The judge in your case will have discretion depending on your shared standard of living during the marriage.