Marriages entered into in Minnesota require meeting a certain set of criteria. The statute language under chapter 517 of the Domestic Relations code lays out the formula quite clearly.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Minnesota for a few years now. With that equity of recognition under state law came equity across the legal board, in theory if not always in practice anyway.
A case out of California got us thinking last week about the purpose of spousal maintenance and how fault fits in with maintenance decisions even in a no-fault divorce state. Because maintenance decisions, like all family law matters, are governed by state law, a similar case in Minnesota could lead to a completely different result. Still, states often look to one another for guidance when it comes to difficult issues.
In our article "The nature of alimony awards in Minnesota divorce," we stated that the court cannot consider marital misconduct when determining the amount or duration of a spousal maintenance award. Spousal maintenance is not about punishment. Rather, it is about making it possible for a spouse with an economic disadvantage to provide for his or her basic needs and, to a certain extent, to maintain the marital standard of living.
Adding a new member to the family through an adoption is a very momentous and emotional thing for a parent. There are all sorts of strong emotions and desires a parent may feel in connection to an adoption. One is a strong desire to give their new child as good of life as possible. Thus, one thing many adopting parents may be very concerned about is meeting all of their newly adopted child's needs.