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.