PLM Family Law

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What should you know about spousal support?

When you and your spouse divorce, one of you may receive spousal support. A Minnesota court uses several factors to decide which of you will receive this financial assistance.

According to the Minnesota Legislature, courts usually award spousal support so that people can maintain their current standard of living. If your spouse was the breadwinner, you may not have access to the resources you need to fully support yourself. If you have young children, you may not be able to work a full-time job but may need the flexibility to be at home. Spousal support provides financial assistance so that you can take care of yourself and your family.

How much spousal support do you receive?

The amount of spousal support typically depends on the circumstances of your marriage. A court may consider your age. If you are close to retirement, for example, a court looks at the amount of the retirement funds that are still available to you. If you could still work for several years, the court may examine your employment history. Have you been out of the workplace for several years? If so, are your skills still current or will you need more education to get a good job? How long will this schooling take? Additionally, a court usually considers the length of your marriage.

How long does spousal support last?

The court may order either temporary or permanent spousal support. Officials usually use all of the factors listed above to determine how long you will need this support. Additionally, some factors may cause you to receive a smaller amount of support or to stop receiving these payments altogether. Some courts may reduce or end spousal support if you remarry, for example.

Many courts allow you to modify spousal support as your circumstances change. The amount may either increase or decrease, depending on the reason you request the modification.