Hafemeyer Law

Spousal Maintenance in Minnesota

There have been recent stories in the news discussing the changes in spousal maintenance (alimony) laws around the country. Although these changes will not directly affect the laws in Minnesota, it may show that the attitudes toward spousal maintenance may be changing.

In Minnesota, current laws allow for two types of spousal maintenance: (1) permanent; and (2) temporary / rehabilitative. Which type of spousal maintenance is awarded varies on many different factors. Permanent spousal maintenance is most common in longer marriages and requires the obligor to pay the obligee for a defined period of time and may last past the age of retirement.  The second type of spousal maintenance, temporary or rehabilitative, comes into play when an
ex-spouse does not have sufficient education or job skills to support themselves. The funds are a means of additional support while the obligee gains job skills or obtains an education.

One of the states where changes in the law have begun to take place is Florida. These changes have limited the percentage of income that the obligor spouse must pay to the obligee to 20% of net monthly income. The length of time in which spousal maintenance is paid is based on the length of the marriage and requires that payments be stopped at the age of 66. Further, the new law in Florida allows for current spousal maintenance obligor’s to modify the current divorce decrees to place them in alignment with the new law.

Talks about changes to Minnesota law have not boiled to the surface at this time, but the changes that are seen in other states may foreshadow changes to the way the Minnesota courts consider spousal maintenance awards in the future.

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