Contact Us for a Consultation 207-536-7147

Spousal Support


Spousal support (a.k.a. alimony) in Maine is a complicated subject, and it is important that you speak with a qualified lawyer to understand if and how it is an issue in your case. First, there are different types of spousal support:

  • “General support” is financial assistance to a spouse with substantially less income potential than the other spouse, so both can maintain a reasonable standard of living after the divorce. There are two rebuttable presumptions that apply to general support: (1) It may not be awarded if the parties were married for less than ten years as of date of filing. (2) It may not be awarded for a term exceeding half the length of the marriage if parties were married for at least ten years but not more than twenty years as of date of filing. However, these presumptions can be rebutted by a finding that such an order would be inequitable or unjust.
  • “Transitional support" may be awarded to provide for a spouse's transitional needs, including: short-term needs resulting from the separation or reentry or advancement in the work force, including vocational training and education.
  • “Reimbursement support” may be awarded to achieve a fair result in response to exceptional circumstances, including: economic misconduct by a spouse or substantial contributions a spouse made towards the educational or occupational advancement of the other spouse during the marriage. It may be awarded only if the parties' financial circumstances do not permit the court to fully address equitable considerations through its distribution of property.
  • “Nominal support" may be awarded to preserve the court's authority to grant spousal support in the future.
  • “Interim support” may be awarded to provide for a spouse's separate support while the divorce case is pending.

When determining whether to grant spousal support and in what amount and for what duration, the court considers the following factors: 

  • The length of the marriage;
  • The ability of each party to pay;
  • The age of each party;
  • 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 of division of marital property;
  • The health and disabilities of each party;
  • The tax consequences of a spousal support award;
  • The contributions of either party as homemaker;
  • The contributions of either party to the education or earning potential of the other party;
  • Economic misconduct resulting in the diminution of marital property or income;
  • The standard of living of the parties during the marriage;
  • The ability of the party seeking support to become self-supporting within a reasonable time;
  • The effect of the following on a party's need for spousal support or a party's ability to pay: child support and the actual or potential income from property distribution; and
  • Any other factors the court considers appropriate.

Unlike child support, there are no guidelines or formulas under Maine law for determining spousal support. Rather, the court will consider the factors set forth above and choose an amount that it considers appropriate.

In some cases, spousal support can be modified after a divorce becomes final. When there is a substantial change in financial circumstances and it appears that justice requires, the court may modify spousal support, unless the divorce judgment expressly states that the award is not subject to future modification. 

Contact a Maine Divorce Lawyer Today

If you are seeking a divorce, you should get the advice and representation of a qualified lawyer. At the Law Offices of Dylan Boyd, in Portland, our divorce lawyers can help you to get an order of spousal support, to defend against a demand for spousal support, or to modify an existing order. Contact us online or call (207) 536-7147 to schedule a consultation.

Contact Us Today

We are committed to answering your questions about Criminal Defense & OUI, Family Law & Divorce, Wills & Planning, and Mediation issues in Maine. We will gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.