Alimony – Capable Spouses "Sitting in Idleness" - KOTA Territory News

Alimony – Capable Spouses "Sitting in Idleness"

Gary Jensen
Beardsley, Jensen and Von Wald

The South Dakota Supreme Court's most recent decision on the subject of alimony is Hagedorn v. Hagedorn, 2012 S.D. 72.  

The Court reaffirmed that the party requesting alimony has the burden to "establish that they have a need for support and that their spouse has sufficient means and abilities to provide for part or all of that need."  The five factors to be considered are:

1.    The length of the marriage.
2.    The respective earning capacity of the parties.
3.    Their respective age, health, and physical condition.
4.    Their station in life or social standing.
5.    Relative fault in the termination of the marriage.

In Hagedorn, the primary issue was the concept that "alimony will not be provided in an amount that would ‘allow a wife capable of work to sit in idleness.'"  After considering all of the circumstances, the Supreme Court concluded that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in setting the amount of alimony.  

The amount of alimony awarded to the wife would not allow "a wife capable of work to sit in idleness."

E-mail Gary is intended as general information on legal issues affecting us all.  This information should not be relied upon in any particular case and should never be used in lieu of consulting with an attorney.

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