Does the law require spousal maintenance in every case?
Minnesota Family Law attorney Melisa Field explains that a court does not always require spousal maintenance, and shares how a court decides.
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No, the law does not require a spousal maintenance in every case it’s a very gray area of our law. It’s where a lot of disputes in family law happen. It’s really fact determinative. You need to look at each case, because if you can meet the threshold and say I need spousal maintenance because I don’t have the ability to meet my needs independently you have to think about three really important concepts. The amount of spousal maintenance, the duration of spousal maintenance, and then whether or not to divest the court of jurisdiction to modify maintenance in the future. For amounts and duration there are seven factors in the statute that the court needs to turn to and just those factors include the needs of the party who’s asking for maintenance. Whether or not they’ve been absent to the workforce. The ability of the person paying spousal maintenance to meet their own needs. The contributions of the parties to the marital estate and that includes the efforts of a homemaker and whether skill sets have become outmoded. The court needs to consider these factors and they’re very much dependent on each and every case. It’s not like child support where you can just plug in the numbers and it tells you how much and how long. It really is something that you need to look at very closely.