You hope it never comes down to divorce, but you have to be realistic with today's numbers suggesting that over half of all marriages are going to end in divorce. The rules for divorce are different from state to state, and Minnesota is one of the states that rewards alimony and rewards it generously in many cases. If there is absolutely no other way to reconcile and marriage counseling hasn't worked, then couples splitting in Minnesota will want to be aware of the divorce and alimony laws in the state. Judges award alimony in Minnesota in accordance with several laws that specifically deal with this divorce court issue.

Divorcees wanting alimony must make a request for it, and then qualify based on state code in order to receive payments. Judges enjoy a wide range of powers when it comes to awarding alimony, as very few limits are put on the practice, which can be very good or very bad depending on which side of the fence a person is on with Minnesota alimony rulings or considering who the individual judge is.  This is a basic informational guide for individuals who need information, and not a legal resource.  But if you want to know the basics, the following information is some of the basic stuff you will want to know about Minnesota alimony practices, as of 2010.  Remember that over time some of these laws and practices could possibly change.

What About Marriage Counseling?
Sometimes, whether we like it or not, divorce might be the best or only recourse.  But many times small problems and stress become the giant rifts that can sink marriage.  Whether it's through sitting down and having open and honest conversations, reading marriage counseling books, or even seeing a professional marriage counselor, these are all steps that should be taken before settling on divorce.  Divorce law in Minnesota can be particularly harsh, making it very difficult if not impossible for the person paying alimony to crawl back up to even.  Exhaust every option before settling on divorce.

Minnesota Alimony Prerequisites
There are a few prerequisites that must be met for alimony to be awarded in the state of Minnesota. In fact, there are 5 prerequisites that must be met before any alimony can be awarded to either side by the judge.  The five conditions are:

    * One side must formally seek alimony
    * There must be a notable difference in standard of living
    * The party requesting alimony has custody of any children (this can automatically lead to alimony)
    * Alimony is needed for self-support or a reasonable lifestyle
    * The requester lacks the proper skills or education to reasonably be expected to provide a sustainable lifestyle for themselves.

The first condition is that one of the people involved in the divorce must formally seek alimony. If no claim is made, then alimony will not simply be awarded. The judges in Minnesota have many powers when it comes to alimony, but they cannot force payments if no formal request is made.  The standard of living can mean a lot of things.  By Minnesota law, alimony isn't just the minimum to get by, but enough to help the person maintain the lifestyle that he or she is used to in the marriage.  This can make alimony extremely costly.

If additional help is warranted for self-support, a reasonable lifestyle, or for providing for a child, then the judge can award alimony under those conditions.

Minnesota Alimony Rules, Regulations, and Guidelines
There are several guidelines and rules that govern how alimony is handled in the state. The basis for all alimony payments is the standard of living that the couple enjoyed while married as opposed to the standard of living the person asking for alimony will have without any help. Any difference between those two is the basis for the amount of alimony that will be paid. If the person asking for alimony ends up making more income or having a higher quality of life than the payer, then alimony payments can be challenged and canceled.

Duration of Alimony
Unless otherwise stated, Minnesota alimony law is written to encourage permanent alimony from one partner to another until one of the members dies or the receiving party gets re-married. As of 2010, it is very difficult to get alimony requests waived in the state without strong evidence arguing that it is an appropriate move. In addition, a judge in Minnesota can legally waive a prenuptial agreement and award alimony on the basis that the standards of income or living changed dramatically from the time the agreement was made to the time of divorce.  If this sounds scary and out of control, many people victimized by this power would agree with you.

This means that in the state of Minnesota you must assume, even if you have a partner who signed a prenuptial agreement, that you will owe alimony for your lifetime or until the other person becomes legally married once again.