In a divorce or legal separation proceeding – either before or after the matter is finalized – a court can grant maintenance to either a husband or a wife if the court finds that either is entitled to Minnesota spousal maintenance.

By law the court is required to take into consideration certain clearly-enumerated factors.

The court will hear arguments from both the husband and the wife and the court will issue a maintenance award to either spouse if it finds that one of the parties:

  • lacks sufficient property to provide for themselves, and/or;
  • cannot maintain the standard of living they were accustomed to during marriage; or
  • that either spouse is in need of further education or training to be able to provide for themselves;
  • that one of the spouses cannot work due to the necessity of child care.


A maintenance order will be in an amount and for a period of time that the court deems just.  You should speak with a spousal maintenance attorney and/or alimony before trying to navigate the court process.

The court order can be temporary or permanent.  In most cases, the court will not take into consideration marital misconduct.

The factors that the court may consider in making a spousal maintenance award include:

  • the financial resources of the party seeking maintenance,
  • whether children are being cared for by the spouse requesting maintenance
  • if a spouse requires sufficient education or training to be able to provide for themselves;
  • the standard of living established during the marriage;
  • the length of the marriage and, in the case of a homemaker, the length of absence from employment and the extent to which any specific education or skills are diminished by that absence;
  • the loss of earning potential foregone by the spouse seeking maintenance;
  • the age, and the physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance;
  • the contribution of both spouses in the acquiring of marital property and assets;
  • any other factors the court deems just.

You should also keep in mind that the court may allow you to enter into a private agreement with your spouse about maintenance.  For instance, in a property settlement or marital termination agreement, spouses can apportion their marital assets as they deem fit.  In other words, a marital asset of value may be awarded to a spouse who is seeking maintenance.  In this way, no court-ordered maintenance is awarded; however, the spouses have provided a different form of “consideration” for the absence of a specific maintenance award.

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Contact the Flanders Law Firm today.  I offer free consultations to all potential clients. Call (612) 424-0398.


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