Spousal maintenance (commonly referred to as alimony) is an award made during a dissolution of marriage (divorce) or legal separation proceeding whereby one spouse is ordered to pay the other spouse money out of future earnings to assist in providing for his or her needs. Spousal maintenance may be ordered on a permanent or temporary basis. Spousal maintenance may be awarded if one spouse lacks sufficient property or income to provide for his or her basic needs, and the other spouse has the ability to make said payments. Whether or not a court orders spousal maintenance is discretionary and up to the judge. In making a determination as to whether or not spousal maintenance is appropriate, a court considers such things as the financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, the partys ability to provide for him or herself, the partys age, physical and emotional condition, the duration of the marriage, the standard of living established during the marriage, the time a spouse needs to get sufficient education or training to become self-sufficient, as well as the contribution or sacrifices one spouse made to further the other spouses education or employment. Dissolving a marriage is a complex legal matter and should not be taken lightly. If you are in need of sound legal advice, stop in or call Derek Trosvig at (320) 763-3141.
Criminal charges are categorized by the severity of the penalty. In Minnesota, there are four levels of criminal charges: petty misdemeanors, misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors, and felonies. The least severe offense is called a petty misdemeanor. An example of this is a simple speeding ticket. The maximum penalty that could be imposed for a petty misdemeanor offense is a $300 fine. A misdemeanor offense is more serious than a petty misdemeanor. An example of a misdemeanor is disorderly conduct. The maximum penalty that could be imposed for a misdemeanor offense is 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. A gross misdemeanor offense is more serious than a misdemeanor offense. An example of a gross misdemeanor is a second or third DWI offense within a ten year period of time. The maximum penalty for a gross misdemeanor is 1 year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine. The most serious criminal offense is a felony. An example of a felony would be a theft of a motor vehicle, a sexual assault, or murder. A felony is any crime for which a sentence of imprisonment for more than one year may be imposed. The legal system is complex. If you need help navigating your legal situation, the lawyers at Swenson Lervick can help. They are knowledgeable, experienced, and ready to fight for your rights. Stop in or call Greg Donahue at (320) 763-3141.