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How does a court grant spousal support?

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2022 | Family Law

An item of concern for many divorcing couples is spousal maintenance. You might worry you cannot afford to live if you must pay maintenance to your ex-spouse. Or, if you relied on your spouse for support, you might have concerns about living without it.

According to Minnesota Statutes 518.552, the court only grants spousal support if they find the spouse needs it. To learn more about why a court gives spousal support, see below.

Earning potential

A spouse might require a maintenance order if they cannot provide for themselves. The Minnesota Statutes explain that the court assesses the standard of living the spouse experienced during their marriage. The court also examines whether they have a child and whether a spouse can maintain a job while fulfilling the child’s needs.

Marital property

Besides the ability to earn an income, the court also considers the marital property that each spouse receives. They weigh the marital property against the ability to earn an income and grant spousal maintenance until the spouse gains training or education.

Maintenance order duration

After examining the abovementioned factors, the court may grant temporary, permanent or no spousal maintenance. The duration of spousal support depends on the time required for training or education, the duration of the marriage, the age and health of the spouse pursuing maintenance, contributions of marital property to the marriage and several other elements.

Paying for spousal support depends on a variety of conditions. Besides the standard of living a spouse experienced during the marriage, courts also strongly consider the spouse’s ability to earn a living.