Aug 19, 2020
Types of Alimony Awarded in Maine Divorce Cases
A common refrain from divorcing spouses is the question: “Will I get/have to pay alimony to my ex?” Indeed, this is often a hot-button issue in many divorces. Spouses whose careers took a backseat to raising children are eager to receive a robust amount, and the breadwinners are worried that they will be taken to the cleaners. To alleviate your uncertainty (whichever side you are on), this blog will provide an overview of alimony in Maine.
Five Types of Spousal Support
The terms “spousal support” and “alimony” are used interchangeably in Maine. At the outset of a divorce, the court has a menu of five options when it comes to spousal support:
- General. This type of spousal support, when granted, is nearly exclusively reserved for couples who have been married for at least 10 years. Additionally, general spousal support is geared toward spouses who, due to age or health issues, are unable to generate income. From the first payment, though, the clock begins ticking; there is a rebuttable presumption that the duration of general spousal support may not exceed 1/2 the length of the marriage.
- Transitional. This is a relatively common type of spousal support in Maine. Transitional support is granted to help spouses transition from the marital home to single life. Essentially, this kind of spousal support is awarded to help individuals get on better financial footing after the dissolution of the marriage. It often ceases when the former spouse finds a good-paying job or completes educational training.
- Reimbursement. This unique type of spousal support is only used in “exceptional circumstances.” In the event that one spouse used marital funds on illicit or illegal things (like buying gifts for a mistress), reimbursement spousal support may be in order. Another situation described in the Maine Revised Statutes is one in which one spouse made “substantial contributions” to the other spouse’s career or education.
- Nominal. The court may choose to award nominal spousal support so that they may set a more appropriate amount in the future. For example, the court might award a single dollar of nominal support as a placeholder of sorts.
- Interim. Interim spousal support in Maine only exists for the duration of the divorce case. When the final decree and everything else is finalized, the interim support for the receiving spouse is terminated.
There are a lot of ways to go with spousal support for divorced (or divorcing) couples in Maine. There are also many factors that judges are required to consider when determining the correct type, amount, and duration of spousal support. This means you need an attorney with a thorough understanding of the law to advocate for you and your interests during your divorce. The Maine Divorce Group would be honored to be a calming, yet assertive legal presence for you in your family law matters.