Spousal Maintenance
Helping You Create Your Next Chapter

Minnesota Alimony Attorneys

Getting You the Help You Need After Divorce

For many soon-to-be-divorcees, the alimony process is one of the most dreaded parts of a divorce. Spousal maintenance battles can be particularly contentious when both parties are estranged, or one party wants more (or less) alimony than the other believes is reasonable.

At Johnson/Turner Legal, our Minnesota alimony attorneys can help you navigate your case. All of our clients receive a team consisting of a veteran attorney, two paralegals, a client engagement specialist, and a life coach. Our team-based approach helps us ensure that you receive high-quality legal and emotional counsel throughout your case.

Additionally, with our flat-fee pricing model, you know up-front how much our services will cost you, so you never have to worry about hidden fees or unexpected costs. It's just one more way we put our clients first.

To retain a consultation with one of our legal professionals, contact us online or via phone at (651) 371-9117.

How Does Alimony Work in Minnesota?

During a divorce, the court tries to ensure that all parties maintain the same quality of life post-divorce as they enjoyed during the marriage. This goal governs how the court handles various processes, including child support, property division, and alimony (also commonly called "spousal maintenance").

In a divorce, either party can file a petition to receive or pay alimony. The court considers the following factors when handling an alimony petition:

  • The financial circumstances of the party seeking maintenance, and the prospective alimony payor. In many marriages, one partner acts as the primary breadwinner, so the spouse who makes less or no money might need alimony until they can become financially independent.
  • The time it may take the alimony recipient to become financially independent. For example, if a stay-at-home mother files for alimony, the court may consider how difficult finding gainful employment will be for her. The court also takes education and training opportunities into account (for example, an individual may need to be re-certified in their profession to find employment).
  • The duration of the marriage, and the quality of life established during the marriage. The length of a marriage typically correlates to the length of the alimony arrangement (in other words, longer marriages often mean more substantial spousal support payments).
  • The condition of the recipient and the payor. For example, if the recipient has a medical, physical or mental condition that would make financial independence difficult, the court takes that into account.
  • How alimony would affect the payor. Courts want to ensure that both parties maintain a good quality of life post-divorce, so they take the payor's status and circumstances into account.
  • How each spouse contributed to the marriage financially, and the value of marital assets. For example, if the alimony provider paid for the other's college education, the court might take that into account and reduce the payor's alimony burden. The property division case may also affect the alimony arrangement. For example, if the alimony recipient receives the entirety of the marital home from the court, they may receive less alimony to compensate.

It's important to note that the court doesn't need to provide the final ruling in your alimony case. If you're on amicable or neutral terms with your soon-to-be-ex, you can work with a mediator to arrive at an alimony arrangement out of court. The court can then make your alimony arrangement part of the official divorce decree, finalizing it when the divorce is over.

How Long Will I Pay or Receive Alimony?

There are three different kinds of alimony orders:

  1. Temporary orders. Temporary alimony lasts while the divorce is pending. If a spouse has a job lined up but needs some support while the divorce is being finalized or needs help moving to a new location, the court might award them temporary alimony.
  2. Short-term orders. Short-term alimony lasts until a specified date. The court considers how long it would reasonably take for the alimony recipient to become financially independent. The court then uses that determination to set up a timeline for the alimony and terminates the spousal support order after a certain amount of time.
  3. Long-term or permanent orders. Long-term or permanent alimony orders are common in cases where the marriage lasted more than ten years, or one party is incapable of supporting themself. If one party is a permanent caregiver of a child with mental, physical, or medical needs, the court might also order permanent or long-term alimony.

How Can I Prepare to Request/Refute an Alimony Petition?

Your alimony attorney plays a key role in helping you file or refute a petition for alimony from a spouse. An experienced Minnesota alimony lawyer will advocate for your rights in the courtroom and help you prepare an airtight alimony petition. To prepare for your alimony petition, you should collect the following documents:

  • Credit card statements and a credit report. These documents can help the court track your spending and verify your financial habits.
  • A complete list of your assets and liabilities. You'll need this for other parts of the divorce process, such as property division, so you may as well put one together now. It will also play a role in determining your alimony arrangement. If you believe your soon-to-be-ex is hiding assets or liabilities from the court to receive a more favorable alimony arrangement, notify your lawyer.
  • Employment income and benefits. Income and benefits records can help the court determine alimony needs more accurately.
  • Passports. A passport can help the court verify or discover travel, which can help determine the needs of a party accurately.
  • Tax returns. Like income statements and credit reports, tax returns can help the court determine a party's financial circumstances and come to an equitable alimony judgment.

At Johnson/Turner Legal, our team can help you understand the alimony process and prepare for your alimony case.

To receive a consultation with our firm, contact us online or via phone at (651) 371-9117.

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