Spousal support can be one of the most contentious issues to resolve during a divorce. The impact of a spousal maintenance award can have a life-long impact. Whether you are seeking spousal support in a divorce or would like to learn more about modifying an existing order, you are in the right place. At Sheridan & Dulas, P.A., we will sit down with you, talk about your situation, and help you chart the best path forward.
Spousal maintenance is not calculated according to a pre-determined formula. Instead, the issue is determined by a judge who considers eight statutory factors. These factors are specific to each case, and may include:
The court will consider whether a party seeking maintenance requires time to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment and whether in doing so that individual would become fully or partially self-supporting
After dividing marital property, what will the total assets and financial resources look like for the spouse who is seeking support? If they have a large number of assets that generate income, the court will consider the income generated by the property in determining whether to award spousal maintenance and the amount of maintenance.
The court may consider the length of the marriage and, in the case of a homemaker, the length of absence from employment and the extent to which any education, skills, or experience have become outmoded and earning capacity has become permanently diminished. Minnesota law does not establish a mandatory minimum for the duration of the marriage but it is a factor the court must consider.
For the party seeking spousal maintenance, the court must consider the loss of earnings, seniority, retirement benefits, and other employment opportunities forgone during the marriage.
The court may also consider the standard of living that the spouse enjoyed during the marriage. A higher standard of living may result in larger spousal support payments from one spouse to the other to preserve that particular standard of living.
The court will also want to answer questions, such as whether the requesting spouse needs the money to meet their reasonable monthly living expenses, and whether the other spouse have the financial assets and ability to actually pay the requested amount.
The age and health of both spouses may also factor into a judge's decision, as these factors can influence the earning potential and employability of the individual seeking spousal support.
The court may further consider the contribution of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation, or appreciation in the amount or value of the marital property. This specifically includes a spouse’s contribution as a homemaker or in furtherance of the other party’s employment or business.
If you are seeking to modify an existing spousal support order, or would like to learn more about your right to receive, or responsibility to pay, spousal support as the result of a divorce decree, we are here to help. Together, we can look at your situation and have a candid conversation about how the law may be applied in your case. You will feel empowered to make the best decisions for you and for your family. Call us today at 651-686-8800 to get started.
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Andrew was always very responsive to my inquiries and was able to complete my divorce in only 6 weeks.
DeAnne, my thanks for all of your work and expertise. You never failed to inform and often spent time to calm my fears. You very generously guided me through a difficult time and process. Without your help I know I would not have the life I can now look forward to.
Andrew Hunstad and the staff were helpful and responsive to all of my questions and concerns. They made a very difficult time for me as quick and as painless as possible. He is a real professional and made all legal matters a walk in the park for me. From the free consultation, all the way until the finalization Andrew and the staff were extremely professional and knowledgeable about the process. Highly recommend!
Andrew was methodical and calm and wise and dug in to get the complete information, but remained calm and friendly and available to me as if I was his only client. In the end, he went to court without me even there. I met him once, briefly; which in hindsight seems outrageous for a person who's legal work amounts to several million dollars worth of settlements. I couldn't be more happy with what Andrew accomplished for me and for how kind he was doing it. I would highly recommend him to anyone needing a divorce attorney.
I friend recommended I talk with Andrew Hunstad after my first attorney stopped communicating with me. I decided to hire him to take over my case. Andrew was very professional and responsive to my calls and emails. From the beginning, Andrew listened to me. I told him what was important to me and he did not forget. Divorce is not much fun but finding someone who can explain the law, communicate my concerns, and deliver made it easier. Take my advice, talk to him before you hire anyone else.
Mr. Hunstad - I cannot thank you enough for your help over the last few months. The divorce was difficult enough but it was easier having a lawyer that would tell me the truth.
Feeling lost, with the pending divorce after 19 years of marriage, I reached out to Andrew T. Hunstad of Sheridan & Dulas, P.A. He gave me the best advice " Get a good therapist because I am not. But I am an excellent attorney." He had my back through the entire process. And that was worth every dollar I spent.
Mr. Hunstad was both helpful and patient with me. He walked me through my employee contract step by step. While going through each part of the contract, he was able to put everything into laymen's terms if I didn't fully understand the technical aspects. He also had a great grasp of current laws, both state and federal. Overall I would highly recommend him based on both knowledge and communication.
I was encouraged to hire an attorney for my divorce, I didn’t know where to begin looking. I found Andrew through the Ramsey County Bar Association. I did an initial consultation with him and hired him on the spot. Andrew is knowledgeable, helped me understand all the legalities. He works hard to be fair and provide an equitable outcome. I would recommend him and have recommended him to several people.
We wanted to sincerely thank you for all of your expertise over the past few years. We will be forever appreciative of the patience you exhibited toward us. We could not have done it without you. Your professional manner impressed us every step of the way. Thank you for taking such good care of us throughout a difficult process. You are outstanding at what you do.
A divorce is stressful, and understanding the legal requirements and ramifications of a divorce can cause even more stress. That’s why we put together this guide to help you navigate this difficult time with as much ease as possible.
In a Minnesota divorce, a family-owned or small business may be considered when the court divides assets between you and your spouse. Learn more about it here.
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