Alimony Reform Task Force
MNAR, Rep. Peggy Scott (MN House of Reps Civil law Chair) and representatives of the Family Law Section of the Minnesota Bar and the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers have been meeting since January 2017, in response to MNAR outreach to the legal community in the Fall of 2016. (See Outreach Letter here – Legal Community – MNAR input Request).
The lawyers on the Task Force agree that there is no consistent and predictable way to counsel their clients on what a judge could rule when it comes to spousal maintenance . With the current law and conflicting case law precidents, it can be a shake of the dice as to what result will come down in court.
More clarity in spousal maintenance law will also create more predicability for the parties of divorce, which will promote more settlements out of court and less acrimonious litigation. Whenever our lawmakers have an opportunity to reform the Maintenance Statute to encourage more predictability in court, it could result in a reduction of revolving courtroom doors for the parties of divorce. Divorce already creates strains on family relationships beyond the two that are divorcing. However, a revolving courtroom door can rip apart the fabric of relationships collateral to the parties that often never recover.
Since the inception of the Task Force, MNAR has presented it’s goals (See Outreach Letter here – Legal Community – MNAR input Request), including tweaks of 2016’s Cohabitation Alimony Reform law.
The Task Force Attorneys took a draft of only the issue of retirement to their respective organizations in September and October. The Family Section of the MN Bar narrowly defeated the retirement draft and the MN Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (MN AAML) disapproved as well. When we met again on December 8, a proposal was brought forward by the MN AAML that there should be a much more global approach to correcting current MN Alimony Law than just the retirement issue alone. They proposed that MN AAML attorneys bring forth more comprehensive language, including the retirement issue and eliminating Permanent Alimony language in April of 2018. At which time, MNAR, the Family Section of the MN Bar and MN AAML could determine if we can come to a workable agreement which could be approved in the 2019 legislative session.
Here is the draft regarding retirement that was NOT endorsed by the legal organizations last Fall: Retirement Draft 9-1-2017
An important term in this draft and what appears to have been the main sticking point with opponents: Rebuttable presumption
How can you support this proposal:
- Contact your lawyer and any lawyer you know and ask them to support proposed legislative language that comes about through ANY Attorney’s organization to which they are affiliated! Attorney group’s support would be very helpful in passing Alimony Reform in 2019.
- Help Minnesota Alimony Reform! Find out how – Click Here
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.
“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: 507-337-9703, email@example.com
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