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Minnesota alimony basics to know before heading to court

Many Minnesota marriages will end in divorce this year. Every case is unique and judges overseeing particular cases must make decisions based on the specific evidence presented in court. In many cases, a key issue that often leads to litigation is alimony.

The court often orders alimony as a means of financial assistance to a lower income-earning spouse in divorce. The purpose of this type of support is to help the financially struggling spouse to maintain a similar standard of living to which he or she was accustomed in marriage. A judge typically considers several factors before making such decisions. 

A key factor is, of course, the current financial status of the spouse seeking maintenance. The court may be interested in knowing more about the petitioner's level of education and job skills, as well as how long it might plausibly take for him or her to become self-supporting. The length of the marriage may also bear significant influence on the court's decision.

In some situations, Minnesota judges may order long-term or permanent alimony. Such cases might include those where a spouse sacrificed a career to remain home full-time and raise a family, especially if the marriage lasted 10 years or more. Then again, the court may order temporary financial support, intended only to last as long as the divorce case remains open or for a stipulated period after the divorce is final. When complex issues arise regarding post-divorce financial issues, an experienced family law attorney can clarify state law and help a concerned litigant build a strong case.

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