Maine Alimony and Spousal Support Laws
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Maine courts allow for alimony awards where it would make a dissolution more equitable. The court will look at all the surrounding circumstances and make decisions on a case-by-case basis.
Types of Spousal Support
- Alimony Pendente Lite - interim support awarded to provide for a spouse's support during a pending divorce or separation.
- Nominal support may be awarded to preserve the court's authority to grant spousal support in the future.
- Transitional or short-term alimony - may be awarded for short-term needs resulting from financial dislocations caused by divorce; or reentry or advancement in a career.
- Reimbursement alimony - may be awarded as equitable due to either economic misconduct by a spouse; or substantial contributions toward the educational of the other spouse during marriage.
Who is Eligible for Alimony in Maine
Alimony is awarded in Maine to provide financial assistance to a party with substantially less income potential than the other party, so that both can maintain a reasonable standard of living after dissolution of marriage.
Maine Alimony Guidelines (Factors for Awarding Alimony)
Maine courts consider the following guidelines when determining alimony:
- Duration of the marriage;
- Ability of each party to pay;
- Age of the parties;
- Employment history and employability of each party;
- Income history and income potential of each party;
- Education and training of each party;
- Retirement and health benefits of each party;
- Tax consequences;
- Health and disabilities of each party;
- Contributions of either party as homemaker;
- Contributions of either party to education or earning potential of the other party;
- Economic misconduct by either party;
- Standard of living during the marriage;
- Ability of the party seeking support to become self-supporting within a reasonable period of time; and
- Any other factors that the court considers appropriate.
Reasons for Termination or Modification of Alimony in Maine
Spousal support can be modified or terminated if justice requires it, unless the order of support states that it is not subject to modification. Alimony automatically ends if either of the parties dies or if the party receiving it remarries.
Marital Fault in Maine
The alimony award is not dependent on fault in Maine. Thus, the court will make determinations of support awards based on the status of the parties as outlined above.
How Long Does Spousal Support Last in Maine?
In Maine, there is a presumption that alimony may not be awarded if the parties were married for less than 10 years. A party can still seek alimony, but unless it is in the best interest of justice, the court is not likely to award it. There is also a presumption that alimony may not be awarded for more than half of the length of the marriage. The courts have discretion, but these are the guidelines by which they make awards.
Maine Alimony Taxes
A spouse who pays alimony may claim it as a deduction on federal taxes. The payee spouse is supposed to claim alimony payments as income. Discuss your support order and its tax implications with an attorney to ensure that you comply with the law.
Find an Alimony Attorney in Maine
To best protect your interest during a dissolution proceeding, it’s best to talk about your circumstances with an experienced attorney. A family law attorney can help you navigate the painful process of divorce with confidence.