Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) and Divorce

In Minnesota Divorce cases, Spousal Maintenance (also referred to as Alimony) is one of the most challenging and difficult financial issues; the outcome, if litigated, is often unpredictable, and the issue is frequently argued in Courts throughout the State, including at the Minnesota Court Of Appeals.  

An award of Spousal Maintenance is based upon need, and not upon an equalization of cash flow.  Equalizing "cash flow" (through software such as FinPlan) or available income is not required, nor is it addressed by Minnesota Statue 518.552.  

Spousal Maintenance is Discretionary in Minnesota

Judges across Minnesota have great discretion in awarding spousal maintenance, and the decision whether to award spousal maintenance is permissive.  A detailed vocational assessment of the spouse requesting spousal maintenance has become much more likely as a result of the 2011 Minnesota Court Of Appeals decision in Passolt v. Passolt.

Located in the historic Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis, Lake Harriet Law Office Attorneys Randall A. Smith and Amber C. Bretl provide outstanding legal representation exclusively in the areas of Divorce and Family Law.  We work with many clients in spousal maintenance cases, and our financial acumen in spousal maintenance cases is exceptional. 

In cases where Spousal Maintenance is an issue, the first step is to convince a Judge that there are grounds to award Spousal Maintenance (which requires substantial financial acumen and analysis and may also require the use of an expert, such as a CPA, Actuary, CFP or related Financial professional.

Grounds for Spousal Maintenance in Minnesota

There are two grounds for an award of Spousal Maintenance:

  1. Spousal maintenance can be awarded if there are insufficient assets to support a party at the marital standard of living.
  2. Spousal maintenance can be awarded if a spouse is not self-supporting.

A third factor (which tends to be less frequent) that can also apply is whether the spouse seeking maintenance is the custodian of a minor child whose circumstances make it appropriate that the spouse not work outside of the home.

Personalized service, attention to detail and effective communication are the cornerstones of our firm, and our promise to you, the client.

Lake Harriet Law Office represent Divorce and Family Law clients in MinneapolisBloomingtonEdina, Eden Prairie, Golden Valley, Maple Grove, Plymouth, St. Louis Park, St. PaulHennepin County, Ramsey County, Scott County, Washington County and throughout the Twin Cities area.

Please call 612-750-4843, or complete the Contact Us form to schedule a consultation.

Attorney Randall A. Smith

Attorney Amber C. Bretl


To schedule a consultation with Lake Harriet Law Office, please complete the form below or call 612-750-4843.

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