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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:
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