How to Modify Your Spousal Maintenance in Minnesota


When you're getting divorced in St. Paul, it may be quite common for a court-ordered spousal maintenance agreement to be included in your divorce settlement. This is also known as alimony, and basically requires the spouse with the larger income (if applicable) to make payments to the other spouse to safeguard the lifestyle enjoyed during marriage - and in many cases - to make sure bills are getting paid.

Whether it's been 10 months, or even 10 years since you got divorced in St. Paul, your life circumstances may have changed drastically. Perhaps you lost your job, or remarried and no longer have an income. Maybe you retired and now live on a fixed pension. Whatever the reason, sometimes you'll find paying spousal maintenance is just no longer feasible in proportion to your budget, even if it' s been years since you were divorced in St. Paul.

When It's Time to Modify Your Minnesota Spousal Maintenance

If you've been divorced in St. Paul and are starting to have trouble with your spousal maintenance payments, you do have the option to request a spousal maintenance modification before your debt (or arrears) accrues.

It's best to talk with a St. Paul family law attorney as soon as possible to get your paperwork filed. Keep in mind that until your paperwork is filed, any neglected spousal maintenance payments will have to be paid.

The Process of Modifying Minnesota Spousal Maintenance

Your St. Paul family law attorney can advise you on the particulars of the modification process, so you know what to expect.

In most situations, your St. Paul family law attorney will take the following steps to get approval for a spousal maintenance modification, including:

  • obtain a court date;
  • file spousal maintenance modification papers; and
  • attend a hearing/trial to determine if the request is necessary.

Court Considerations When Modifying Minnesota Spousal Maintenance

Minnesota courts have some common criteria to deem a spousal support modification appropriate, including:

  • an increase or decrease in either party's income;
  • an increase or decrease in need;
  • change in cost of living; and
  • unforeseen medical expenses on behalf of a child.

If courts can't decide on a spousal maintenance modification based on the above factors, courts can revert to the standard factors of the original spousal maintenance decision.

Some of these standards include:

  • financial necessity;
  • ability of one person to pay spousal support;
  • assets;
  • years the marriage lasted; and
  • age.

A St. Paul family law attorney can help you if modifications are necessary to your Minnesota spousal maintenance agreement. Unpaid spousal maintenance can add up quickly, which is why a St. Paul family law attorney will work to get your case filed in an efficient manner.

When to Contact a St. Paul Family Law Attorney

Banas Family Law, P.A., will give you the personalized service you need to resolve your family law issues, whether you are dealing with a Minnesota divorce, spousal support or child custody. Contact us today for a consultation with an experienced St. Paul family law attorney - 651-361-8109.