The Minnesota alimony statute lists factors for the family court to consider in deciding a case of spousal maintenance. However, the statute directs the court to consider “all relevant factors” which may include factors other than those listed. The statute also directs the court to make the decision “without regard to marital misconduct.” That is a reference to the no-fault aspect of Minnesota divorce law, in which one spouse cannot be treated less kindly for misconduct such as adultery and domestic abuse.
The spousal maintenance factors listed in the statutes are:
- The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to the party, and the party’s ability to meet needs independently, including the extent to which a provision for support of a child living with the party includes a sum for that party as custodian;
- The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment, and the probability, given the party’s age and skills, of completing education or training and becoming fully or partially self-supporting;
- The standard of living established during the marriage;
- The duration of the marriage and, in the case of a homemaker, the length of absence from employment and the extent to which any education, skills, or experience have become outmoded and earning capacity has become permanently diminished;
- The loss of earnings, seniority, retirement benefits, and other employment opportunities forgone by the spouse seeking spousal maintenance;
- The age, and the physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance;
- The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance; and
- The contribution of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation, or appreciation in the amount or value of the marital property, as well as the contribution of a spouse as a homemaker or in furtherance of the other party’s employment or business.