Category: Divorce

How Does the Court Determine Spousal Maintenance?

October 27, 2023  |  Jason C. Brown

Spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, is an emotionally charged issue some divorce litigants may face. The person being asked rarely wants to pay, while the person seeking spousal maintenance believes they need it. So, how does the court determine spousal maintenance? Keep reading to learn more. No Real Blueprint The tricky thing about spousal maintenance is that there is no specific formula set forth in the law. While the issue of child support is addressed by a very specific mathematical equation, alimony is not. However, the following framework may be helpful. The starting point when considering an award of spousal maintenance involves an examination of the needs of the requesting party. That party must put together a summary of anticipated monthly expenses following divorce, and the budget must be reasonable. The reasonableness of a budget is measured against the standard of living the parties enjoyed during the marriage. Next, the requesting party’s income, or potential income, is considered. The law provides that those seeking an award of spousal maintenance must be as meaningfully employed as possible. That usually means full-time employment in line with a litigant’s educational background and work experience. If the party seeking alimony is not so employed, the court may impute income equal to their potential earnings. Determining Need…

Read More

What is Involved in Appealing the Outcome in a Divorce

October 16, 2023  |  Jason C. Brown

While the vast majority of marital dissolution actions are resolved through agreement of the parties, some cases require a trial. After trial, the judge assigned to your case will issue their Findings of Fact, Conclusion of Law, Order for Judgment, and Judgment and Decree. But what happens if you aren’t in agreement with the findings? Keep reading to find out what is involved in appealing the outcome of a divorce. What Can You Do if You Find Yourself at Odds with the Decision of the Court? A litigant may file number of post-trial motions, such as a motion for amended findings or a motion for a new trial. However, the most common step involves filing a motion with the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Every litigant has the right to file an appeal if they are dissatisfied with a district court order. The appellate process begins by serving and filing a Notice of Appeal with the district court and providing proof of doing so to the appellate court. That simple document provides the relevant case caption, names of the litigants, and names of the attorneys responsible for handling the case. In addition to the Notice of Appeal, a Statement of the Case must be submitted to the appellate court administrator. These instructions outline, in…

Read More

Understanding the Divorce Process in Minnesota

January 19, 2023  |  Jason C. Brown

Legal disputes that involve loved ones can be extremely difficult to navigate and can cause a lot of emotional stress on everyone involved. There are typically many questions that can arise during the divorce process that involve child custody, what happens after the divorce, the trial, when the divorce is final, and many more. Divorce can, unfortunately, be a process that is long and drawn-out if the parties are not in agreement. Learn more about understanding the divorce process in Minnesota. Child Custody Plans During a divorce or paternity case, child custody is usually a top priority. In Minnesota, there are two different types of custody – physical and legal. Legal custody involves the ability of a parent to play a role in major decisions of the child’s upbringing, like education, religion, or medical decisions. Legal custody does not include the day-to-day decisions involving the care of a child. Physical custody of a child involves the day-to-day care of a child. This includes decisions regarding the child’s primary residence. When a custody plan is proposed, Family Court considers several factors relating to the “best interest of the child.” Some of these “best interest” factors include: Parental history The child’s needs History of domestic abuse The willingness and ability of each parent to care…

Read More