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SSI and alimony?

Duluth, MN |

My wife of six years and I are thinking about getting a divorce. We're both on SSI. Can she collect alimony if this is my only source of income?

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Attorney answers 3


Thank you for the inquiry.

First, spousal maintenance can be ordered if it is demonstrated that the person seeking spousal support has financial need and the person paying support has the ability to pay. In making its determination the court will consider any relevant factors which include: the length of the marriage; the age of the parties; the financial resources; health, earning capacity, and more. Certainly, on a six year marriage, which would be considered short term, it becomes significantly less likely. Ultimately, a full review of the financial circumstances would be necessary.

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While it is not impossible, it does seem unlikely based upon the facts you have posted. A much more thorough analysis would have to be done to better weigh the possibilities. I would strongly advise you to have a personal consultation with an attorney to discuss the dissolution process before you take any specific action towards getting a legal case started (or even before you discuss it in depth with your wife).

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I would say no. First, while the above answers state the "technical" standard for the award of spousal maintenance in Minnesota, there is an additional point that has been left out - that there is an expectation that your spouse will use her time on spousal maintenance to become self-sufficient. Obviously, if she is on SSI, then that's not really possible. BUT, you're also on SSI. Therefore, unless your monthly benefits are wildly different, and you make a LOT more than she does, I'd say she gets no spousal maintenance.

This answer is not to be considered a response to a specific legal issue in a specific jurisdiction - it is to be considered only a general response to a hypothetical scenario posed by the questioner. For specific legal advice, please consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.

Steven John Hancock

Steven John Hancock


Great analysis Mike!

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