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Maine Alimony
Alimony

In Maine, alimony influences the distribution of property, and it can become intricately involved in a divorce settlement. When spouses are unable to reach an agreement on this issue, the court can order support.

The order must stipulate the payment methods, including installment and lump-sum payments. It must state any limits on changes in the amount or term of the alimony and any limits on payments if the recipient remarries or cohabits. It will also state whether the award can be modified in the future.

Types of Alimony

Maine courts may order temporary, short- and long-term alimony. Alimony can be given to the spouse with the lower income, or potential for income, so both can maintain a reasonable standard of living. Normally, alimony is not awarded in marriages of less than 10 years, and may be limited to half the length of the marriage for people married 10 to 20-plus years.

Transitional spousal support may be provided to enable a spouse to adapt to divorce. This is awarded for expenses such as training, education or rehabilitation to secure employment or temporary needs caused by the divorce.

Reimbursement spousal support is used to achieve a fair and just division of property when there are exceptional circumstances, such as financial misconduct by one spouse, or significant contributions made by one spouse for the education or career advancement of the other.

Nominal spousal support is sometimes granted as a means of preserving the court's right to award alimony in the future.

Interim spousal support is sometimes granted to provide separate support for one spouse while legal proceedings are under way.

Factors Considered by the Court

Alimony is discretionary, and the judge makes exceptions in cases where an award would be unjust or unfair. According to Maine Revised Statutes - Title 19A - Sections: 851, 951, the court shall consider the following factors:

  • the duration of the marriage;
  • the ability of each party to pay support;
  • the ages;
  • the employment history and employment potential of each party;
  • the income history and income potential of each party;
  • the education and training of each party;
  • the provisions for retirement and health insurance benefits of each party;
  • the tax consequences and the property award ;
  • the health and disabilities of each party;
  • the tax consequences of a spousal support award;
  • The contributions as a homemaker;
  • the contributions of either party to the education or earning potential of the other party;
  • dissipation of assets by either party;
  • the standard of living of the parties while married;
  • the ability of the party seeking support to become self-supporting within a reasonable period of time;
  • the effect of the following on a partys need for spousal support or a partys ability to pay spousal support; and
  • any other factors the court considers appropriate.

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