Child Support & Spousal Maintenance
Minnesota Child Support and Spousal Maintenance Law
Whether you are going through a divorce or you have never been married, you want to protect your future, while doing what is right for your children. An experienced attorney can help you understand how child support is calculated and draft a spousal maintenance plan tailored to your needs. At the Shakopee law offices of Loftness Law Office, I understand the system, the method of calculation, and the various options available to you.
In Minnesota, child support payments are determined by state guidelines. Child support cannot be waived. While the state guidelines help determine child support, a final decision can be reached in one of two ways:
- through alternative dispute resolution and agreement
- through the court process and judge’s decision
You can work with the other parent to develop an appropriate child support calculation, but it cannot stray too far from the state guidelines or the court may not accept it.
In Minnesota, spousal maintenance, or alimony, is sometimes paid to a former spouse if that spouse is not fully self-supporting at the time of the divorce, considering the standard of living that was established during the marriage. Spousal maintenance is very different from child support. Unlike child support, there are no statutory guidelines for determining whether spousal maintenance should be ordered, or what amount is appropriate. It is also taxable as income to the recipient.
Since there are no Minnesota guidelines for calculating spousal maintenance, cases with spousal maintenance issues can be very unpredictable when submitted to a judge for determination. It helps to have an attorney who will make sure the court fully considers all factors in your case. Examples issues that may arise include:
- payment of spousal maintenance is taxable income to the recipient, and deductible by the payor.
- many people overlook the simple fact that, after the divorce, they will be living in two households, with two sets of household expenses.
- as a practical matter, both parties may need to adjust their household budgets.
- a spouse may need more financial support immediately after the divorce than they will need later.
- just because a spouse is capable of working does not necessarily mean that a judge will not grant spousal maintenance, and just because a spouse is not working does not necessarily mean that a judge will grant spousal maintenance.
It is important to understand the after-tax cash consequences to spousal maintenance and how it can affect your budget. I can show you what your monthly budget will look like, when considering child support and/or spousal maintenance.
Contact a Shakopee Child Support Lawyer
Whether you are involved in a dispute over child support, or you want to find a spousal maintenance plan that works, it is always beneficial to understand the different options available. Contact me today for a free initial consultation.