Minnesota Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) Trends in Family Court

In Minnesota, Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) is based upon need.  Equalizing monthly cash flow (or available income) is not required by Minnesota Statue 518.552.  In the June 22, 2015 unpublished decision in Curtis v. Curtis, the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the Trial court that required wife to liquidate assets to produce income, and awarded her no spousal maintenance (either rehabilitative or temporary).  Judges in Minnesota have discretion in awarding spousal maintenance, and the decision whether to award spousal maintenance is permissive.  A vocational assessment of the spouse requesting spousal maintenance has become much more prominent as a result of the 2011 decision in Passolt v. Passolt.

Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) – Lack of a Precise Formula

Spousal Maintenance, unlike Child Support, does not provide the parties with a basic formula – or calculator – to determine if (and for what duration of time) money should be paid to one spouse during Divorce proceedings or after a Divorce.  Under current Minnesota law, the Courts must use existing statutes and precedent to determine whether an award of Spousal Maintenance is appropriate under the given facts of the case.  Since the Minnesota legislature has not addressed the issues for many years, Judges are put in a position of making spousal maintenance decisions that reflect current views and trends.    

Use of Financial Experts During Divorce

The use of a CPA, Actuary, ASA or Real Estate Appraiser may be required in order to provide valuations of various assets, such as a 401k, 403b, Qualified Plan, ESOP, IRA or Pension (including Teacher, Nurse, Physician, Carpenter, Professor, Electrician, Plumber, Police Officer, Firefighter) and Business, Partnership and Real Estate valuations.

We Represent Clients Exclusively in Family Law

Located in the historic Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis, Lake Harriet Law Office Attorneys Randall A. Smith and Amber C. Bretl provide outstanding legal representation exclusively in the areas of Divorce and Family Law. 

Lake Harriet Law Office represents clients in Minneapolis, Edina, Bloomington, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Eden Prairie, Southwest Minneapolis, Kenwood, Linden Hills, Plymouth, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, St. Paul, Minnetonka and Scott County. 

Please call 612-750-4843 or complete the Contact Us form to schedule an office consultation.

Randall A. Smith – Principal Attorney

Amber C. Bretl – Associate Attorney

Published On: July 10, 2015Categories: Family Law Updates

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We represent clients throughout the Minneapolis area in Divorce, Financial Issues, Child Custody, Child Support, Parenting Time, Property and Asset Division, Spousal Maintenance and more!

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