Spousal Maintenance: Recent Case Law

What is spousal maintenance? Spousal maintenance (or commonly referred to as alimony) can be awarded in a divorce proceeding in an effort to try and preserve the lower earning spouse’s standard of living during the marriage.  Each spousal maintenance agreement can be different depending on what the parties agree to. However, spousal maintenance is an issue many couples disagree on and end up having to litigate over.

Spousal maintenance is an area of law that differs from state to state and can range from being temporary to permanent.  In Minnesota, a Judge has more discretion in awarding spousal maintenance than child support since there is no spousal maintenance calculator as there is for child support. A Judge may not however consider marital misconduct in spousal maintenance awards in Minnesota. The recent case law has started a trend that moves away from permanent spousal maintenance and does not require a finding of bad faith before imputing income. Passolt v. Passolt, 804 N.W. 2d 18 (Minn. Ct. App. 2011). If Spousal Maintenance is awarded it typically comes with conditions and/or step reductions to a final date when the spousal maintenance will terminate.

Dave represents clients in Minnesota on a range of legal issues, including civil litigation, business ventures, and creditor relations. He also has expertise raising capital to finance David v. Goliath cases. (Yes, pun intended!) Dave can be reached via email at dmadgett@madgettlaw.com