House File 1333, the Cohabitation Alimony Reform legislation is law!
Governor Mark Dayton has signed the Cohabitation Alimony Reform Measure today, May 19, 2016!
is added to MN Statute 518.552 – The maintenance Statute:
Why Minnesota Alimony Reform? Lack of consistency and predictability.
Currently, due to the lack of specific guidelines in the Minnesota divorce law, there can be differed awards from different Judges, sometimes in the same Court. Judges must weigh several factors and make a ruling.
“The reform of Spousal Maintenance law is needed in Minnesota to bring fairness, self support and finality to the parties of divorce. We want to reform the law to enable the courts to apply them consistently, regardless of the judge presiding, while protecting the truly needy.”
For More information Contact: Dr. Michael Thomas, 507-337-9703, firstname.lastname@example.org
The law was discouraging marriage and encouraging cohabitation!!!!
In an era when marriage rates are falling, the laws in Minnesota should be written to encourage marriage. The statistics above show an alarming trend in the United States that cohabitation is on the rise and marriage is on the decline. Cohabitation is encouraged by current law and should be reformed for the following reasons:
- There are many instances where recipients are choosing not to get married in order to continue receiving alimony from an ex-Sposue while living with a boyfriend or girlfriend in long term marriage-like relationships. (see Nightmare Stories click here)
- Many times the payor of Spousal Maintenance has difficulty remarrying, due to their significant other’s hesitance to marry in fear his or her income will be required to fund a cohabiting former spouse’s household.
- Prior to the 1960’s and 70’s, when the current Spousal Maintenance laws were written, cohabitation was nearly nonexistent. These were times when non-married adults were prevented from registering in hotels and it was very difficult for them to obtain a home mortgage. There was no need to incorporate cohabitation into the statute as it was not an issue during that era. Times have changed!
- At least fourteen states have passed laws specifically addressing cohabitation. The latest to join the list is New Jersey in 2014. The closest state to us who’s laws have addressed cohabitation is Illinois, where this law has been on their books since 1977! The law in Minnesota needs to be brought up to date!
- There is no clear direction for courts in these new times in regard to current living arrangements that couples choose.
- Judges need discretion coupled with guidelines on cohabitation. Minnesota must enact law that finally gives guidance, clarity and specifics.
- Current law incentivizes cohabitation, is anti marriage and encourages recipients to abuse this loop hole in any way possible to maintain their Spousal Maintenance payments.