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Spousal Maintenance: Consideration for Business Owners

 

In the course of representing many businesses, the unfortunate truth is the demands of business adversely affect the home life.   I have seen it too many times (even one time it too many I'd say), so instead of ignoring the law, this article will address one of the most contentious issues that arise when a business owner gets divorced:  Spousal Maintenance.

  

There are two types of spousal maintenance:  permanent and temporary.  The purpose of spousal maintenance is to allow the recipient and the payor to have a standard of living that approximates the marital standard of living, as closely as is equitable under the circumstances.  There are eight factors that are used to determine the amount of spousal maintenance and whether the maintenance is permanent or temporary.  Minn. Stat. Section 518.552.  Those factors are:

 

 

  1. The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance The length of the marriage
  2. The education and earning ability of the party seeking maintenance
  3. The couples' standard of living
  4. The length of the marriage and the parties' relative work history
  5. If one spouse was not in the workforce during the marriage, that spouse's loss of earnings and employment options
  6. Age and health
  7. The paying spouse's ability to pay and maintain their lifestyle
  8. The financial contribution of each spouse to the marriage
     

 

As much as these factors are codified, the Minnesota Supreme Court's position is that "each marital dissolution proceeding is unique and centers upon the individualized facts and circumstances of the parties and that, accordingly, it is unwise to view any marital dissolution decision as enunciating an immutable rule of law applicable in any other proceeding.” 

  

To further complicate this area of law, the ownership of the business probably has more value to the business owner than the non-owning spouse.  Realistically, a non-owning spouse simply does not have the same likelihood of continuing a business at the same successful level as the spouse who has been on-site and hands on.  

 

I can help you sift through the factors above and provide an insight into the likely outcomes you face.  As the Supreme Court stated, each case is individualized  -- you simply cannot get on the internet, find what you think are similar cases, and reasonably conclude how your case might end.

 

 

The material contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney. All information contained in links are the property of the linked site.


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