4 spousal support guidelines for marriages of less than a year

On Behalf of | Jan 10, 2024 | Spousal Support/Maintenance |

In Minnesota, spousal support, commonly known as alimony, is a financial arrangement. It aims to provide economic assistance to the lesser-earning spouse after a divorce.

However, for marriages lasting less than one year, spousal support considerations take a slightly different turn.

1. Duration of marriage and eligibility

Minnesota law typically requires a minimum duration of marriage to qualify for spousal support. Marriages that dissolve within a year may not meet this criterion, often making spousal support less likely. The reasoning is that such short-term unions may not have allowed for substantial economic interdependence between the spouses.

2. Exceptional circumstances

Despite the general trend, there are instances where spousal support might be possible even in marriages under one year. Courts may examine exceptional circumstances, such as one spouse giving up a career opportunity or making significant financial sacrifices for the benefit of the marriage during its short duration. In these cases, the court may find it justifiable to award spousal support.

3. Standard of living during marriage

When evaluating the need for spousal support, the court considers the standard of living during the marriage. In short-term marriages, maintaining the same standard of living may be challenging to establish due to the limited duration.

However, if a spouse can demonstrate a substantial change in financial circumstances resulting from the marriage, the court may take such factors into account. For example, one spouse may have a very high income while the other does not. In Edina, the median household income is $125,506.

4. Financial independence and self-sufficiency

In cases of marriages ending within a year, the court often encourages both parties to achieve financial independence and self-sufficiency. The focus is on each spouse’s ability to support themselves without relying on the other. This approach aligns with the belief that short-term marriages may not warrant long-term financial obligations.

Ultimately, the emphasis as far as spousal support lies on promoting financial independence and self-sufficiency for both parties following the dissolution of a short-term marriage.