Spousal Maintenance & Alimony Issues
The concept formerly called “Alimony” is now referred to as “Spousal Maintenance” in Minnesota. It describes support paid from one spouse to the other to assist the other spouse in being self-supporting.
Spousal Maintenance can be ordered on an interim basis where appropriate, and is often a major issue in cases of marriages of long duration. Sometimes the circumstances suggest that “temporary” or some form of “rehabilitative” spousal maintenance is appropriate. Frequently a primary issue is whether spousal maintenance should be “permanent.” Our spousal support attorneys can advise you about which of these is most likely to be applicable in your situation.
Spousal maintenance is generally subject to adjustment where there have been substantially changed circumstances (of either party) which make the terms of the prior order unreasonable or unfair. There are generally provisions for making such adjustments automatically every two years in the case of changes in the cost of living.
It is possible for parties to waive the right to future modifications of spousal maintenance through the use of a “Karon” agreement. Our experienced divorce attorneys can help you understand how a Karon agreement works, whether its use is applicable to your situation, and how one negotiates for such an agreement.
Spousal maintenance terminates in the event of death or remarriage absent some agreement to the contrary. Spousal maintenance does not automatically terminate by statute in the event of retirement. What happens to spousal maintenance at the time of retirement is a complex issue that requires careful consideration and drafting to remove any future ambiguity. Our experienced spousal maintenance lawyers can help you thread your way through this complex and very important consideration.
Another important question to be addressed in determination of Spousal Maintenance needs is how medical and hospitalization benefits will be handled after the marriage is dissolved. Our Family Law attorneys are familiar with the provisions of the federal COBRA statute requirements and the comparable state law regarding medical and hospitalization benefits in marriage dissolution proceedings. They can advise you about the impact of these issues.