Spousal maintenance is an amount of money provided from one spouse to another as a result of a separation of divorce. This is generally done because there is an imbalance between the incomes of the two spouses and an effort is made to preserve the standard of living of the spouse who makes less money. Spousal maintenance is also commonly called alimony.
There are several ways that the amount and duration of spousal maintenance can be determined. Some divorcing couples are able to work this out on their own — and they come to an amicable agreement about the amount and the length of time spousal maintenance is paid. This saves significant time, energy, money and court time.
However, for many couples, coming to an agreement about spousal maintenance is contentious and heated and requires the help of legal counsel and the court system. This can prove stressful as it is extremely difficult to predict how the court will rule in each spousal maintenance case. There is no standard formula for calculating alimony. Generally, the greater the gap in income between the two spouses, the greater the award for spousal maintenance.
Factors in Determining Spousal Maintenance
There are many factors that a judge takes into account when making the determination of amount and duration of spousal maintenance. Some of the most common factors are:
- Length of marriage
- Standard of living that the couple maintained during the marriage
- The financial resources of the couple and of the spouse who is seeking the maintenance
- The length of time that it might reasonably take for the spouse seeking maintenance to obtain education or a vocation that would allow them to support themselves in a reasonable way.
- Age and emotional condition of both parties
A Karon Waiver
A Karon Waiver is a legal term in Minnesota divorce law that says that once a divorce settlement is agreed upon, both parties agree that they will not change the spousal maintenance in the future. One issue that is pressing in the courts right now is making sure that Karon Waivers are valid. Many Karon Waivers are presented to the court that may not have the necessary language included to make them valid. A Karon Waiver must include 4 things:
- A contractual waiver of the parties’ rights to modify the maintenance agreement
- The waiver must divest the court of jurisdiction of the maintenance agreement
- It must be incorporated into the final judgement and decree
- The court must independently find that the waiver is fair, equitable, and that full disclosure of financial circumstances has occurred.
Kallemeyn & Kallemeyn Law Firm can provide strong representation in all types of divorce and maintenance agreements. Give our team a call at 1-763-427-5131 for more information.