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What are the criteria to receive spousal maintenance?

When a couple divorces in Stillwater, there is the possibility that one spouse will receive alimony from the other. According to the law, there are numerous justifications for one spouse to pay and the other to receive spousal maintenance. The reasons for spousal maintenance are based on property and ability to self support. Also important is the duration of the payments, whether it will be permanent or have a predetermined end and if a private agreement between the parties can be reached.

When the marriage is dissolved, there may be a maintenance order made. This will occur if one spouse doesn't have enough in terms of property and income to meet the needs for an adequate standard of living as was in effect during the marriage. A spousal maintenance calculator is used to determine the amount that will be provided. In some instances, the payments will be made so the former spouse can seek training or education for employment. If people are not able to support themselves or have custody of a child, alimony and child support will likely be required.

The order for spousal maintenance might be permanent or temporary depending on the judgment of the court. The financial circumstances of the person who wants to receive payments with their own individual assets and ability to self support will be taken into account. The amount of time it might take for the supported spouse to gain adequate training or education to be able to self support will be considered. How long the marriage lasted, the age of the participants and the ability of the supporting spouse are also taken into consideration.

If the couple is able to come to an agreement on their own, it can save a lot of trouble and expenses when it comes to long-term legal costs. Obviously, this doesn't happen often. When there is an order to pay spousal maintenance and it is not adhered to, there can be legal consequences including an arrest. When there are concerns about alimony and spousal maintenance, it's important to discuss them with a legal professional experienced in divorce legal issues therefore this post cannot provide specific legal advice.

Source:, "2014 Minnesota Statutes," accessed on Oct. 13, 2014

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