Spousal support is optional in a divorce. It is up to the court whether it will award it if you or your spouse make a request to receive it. There is no guarantee the court will approve the request.

The Minnesota Statutes state that the court considers the situations of you and your spouse during the marriage and after the divorce when making spousal support decisions. In general, the court wants to determine if your spouse lacks the ability to provide for his or her reasonable needs without further financial assistance.

Earning potential

The court will consider both of your finances. It will look at employment and potential employment. The court is more likely to award support if you work and your spouse does not and he or she does not have any immediate ability to secure a job.

Other factors

The court will also consider if your spouse cares for your children. If you have a child who requires intensive care that would make it difficult to secure employment, then this may also be a basis for which the court awards support.

Other factors the court will consider are how long your marriage lasted, your and your spouse’s general state of health, your ages, your contributions to marital property, earnings during the marriage and other financial resources.

Important information

You should also know that if your spouse remarries, the court will terminate spousal support. The court will also consider not awarding or ending an award of support if your spouse lives with a romantic partner and the reason they do not marry is to keep the spousal support payments.