Everything You Need to Know About Alimony

Alimony payments are a reality in many divorce cases today. Also known as spousal support or maintenance, alimony is most common in divorces when one spouse earns substantially more than the other and the couple has been married for many years.

In every divorce case, there are many difficult items to sort through and decisions to be made. While alimony may not be applicable in every divorce, it is something that has the potential to affect your finances for years to come.

Here is a brief overview of how alimony works and what you need to know if you’re going through a divorce:

A judge will first order alimony to be paid. You and your spouse have the option to agree to terms outside of court however if you are unable to agree, a court will set the terms. The terms of alimony payments include:

  • The amount to be paid
  • How often it is to be paid
  • The duration of the alimony payments

In most alimony cases, payments will typically continue until:

  • A specific date decided on by a judge
  • Either spouse dies
  • The children no longer need a parent to care for them
  • The ex-spouse remarries


Alimony has been a law for over 100 years and plays an important role in supporting a spouse after marriage. However, alimony is not meant to be a full time wage for those who receive it. Generally, courts look at the spouse’s capacity to earn when making decisions on alimony. If the spouse is not fulfilling their full capacity (i.e. working part-time when they are able to work full time), the court may order them to attempt to find work that more closely aligns with their capacity to earn.

Alimony cases are difficult to navigate through and it’s always best to have a legal expert you can turn to. Trust the Minneapolis divorce lawyers at KTF Law to guide you through you divorce proceedings. We look forward to answering your questions!

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