What does a Court need to consider when figuring out whether to award spousal maintenance (formerly known as ‘alimony’) in a Minnesota divorce? And what information should you bring up to Judge when asking for spousal maintenance? And what the heck does Al Pacino have to do with any of this? Read on!

The 8 Spousal Maintenance Factors

There are eight (8) factors that a Minnesota Court has to look at when deciding a spousal maintenance request. They are found in Minnesota Statutes, section 518.552 subd. 2, and they include:

a) The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance.
i.e. do you have income or assets that you can use to help pay your living expenses?

b) The time necessary for the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment.
i.e. how long before you could find full-time employment?

c) The standard of living established during the marriage.
i.e. what was your and your spouses’ combined income during the marriage?

d) The length of the marriage and the length of a homemaker’s absence from employment is the fourth factor.
i.e. how long were you out of the workforce during the marriage?

e) The employment opportunities forgone by the spouse seeking maintenance.
i.e. how long did you work at home in lieu of pursuing opportunities outside the home?

f) The age, physical condition, and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance.
i.e. how old are you and are you able to work full time?

g) The ability of the paying spouse to meet his or her own needs while meeting those of the spouse.
i.e. can your ex meet his/her own needs and contribute to yours?

h) Each spouse’s contributions to the value of the marital property, as well as a spouse’s contribution as a homemaker.
i.e. did you take care of kids and the household? What did your ex contribute to?

This is the formula that Minnesota Family Courts follow in figuring whether to award you maintenance or not. So it’s probably good to be familiar with these terms. I thought it might help make that easier to look at the body of work of, Al Pacino, lauded thespian of “The Godfather”, “Serpico”, and “Scarface” fame.

You’ll notice the words I highlighted in our ‘8 factor’ list recited above: resources, employment, standard, absence, forgone, condition, ability, and contributions. The first letter of each word, we can use to fashion innumerable word combinations, but, I feel a pull toward the following: “s c a r f a c e”.

‘Scarface’, of course, being one of many of Al Pacino’s acclaimed portrayals; this time as a homicidal drug dealer who terrorizes Miami in the early 80’s.

While I don’t recommend borrowing too much from this character to help you prepare a case for spousal maintenance in a Minnesota divorce; I do encourage you to remember these 8 factors that Al Pacino’s work just might help you remember!

Meet Tim Simonson

Tim has been practicing for more than twenty (20) years now, He's handled divorce, child support, child custody, third party and grandparent rights, domestic abuse, parenting time, and many other areas of family law. He always enjoys the chance to meet people and see whether he can help find solutions to their legal problems.

Contact Beyer & Simonson

If you are facing divorce and any of the divorce-related issues such as spousal maintenance, child support, child custody, property division, or domestic abuse matters, you need our experienced Minneapolis divorce attorneys to help you. Contact Beyer & Simonson in Edina, Minnesota today at (952) 303-6007.

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