Minnesota Family Law attorney Melisa Field defines spousal maintenance.
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Spousal maintenance is the sharing of income in a divorce proceeding. The spouse who gets the award of a spousal maintenance pays tax on it and the spouse who pays gets a deduction. The tax consequences of spousal maintenance is actually a wealth distribution between the parties, it keeps more money in the family. But spousal maintenance is not for every case there is a statutory threshold of whether or not you qualify for spousal maintenance of if it should be awarded. And that threshold is if the spouse asking for the maintenance doesn’t have sufficient property to be able to meet their needs independently or doesn’t have the ability to meet their needs independently from income based on the marital standard of living.