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Minnesota lawmaker seeks changes to alimony laws

A Minnesota legislator is working to change the state's alimony laws. She would like to end permanent alimony, or spousal maintenance. She is also seeking to amend the law so that if someone has gone on to live with another person without marrying him or her, the ex-spouse no longer has to pay spousal maintenance. She notes that in some cases, people are living with a new partner, but not marrying them because they don't want to give up that source of income.

One man who supports the proposed reforms has a website called Minnesota Alimony Reform. He says that he and his wife divorced after two decades of marriage, and she now lives with another man to whom she's engaged. However, because she has not yet remarried, he says that there have been no adjustments to his spousal maintenance payments, despite his appeals to the court. He argues that "maybe parties that are responsible for giving money to another party shouldn't be supporting other households."

One family law attorney notes, however, "If one of the goals of spousal maintenance is to compensate a spouse for years they invested in their ex's career and earning capacity, then why does it end simply because they have a new significant other?" He notes that any changes to the current system should be made by lawmakers and not via individual court cases.

Spousal maintenance changes aren't always easy to make. Therefore, it's important to work to get the terms that you seek while you are hammering out the terms of your divorce settlement. Your Minnesota family law attorney can work to help you do that.

Source: CBS Minnesota, "Minnesota Lawmaker Pushes For Alimony Reform," March 07, 2016

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