< DISCLAIMER >
Warning! Simply reading any page or content of this website or attempting to contact Christopher S. Berryment, Esq. does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor does it guarantee that he will take your case. Setting up a consultation pursuant to the information on this website also does not guarantee that Mr. Berryment will represent you. Additionally, the content provided on this website is for advertising purposes only and is not, nor is it intended to be legal advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office at (207) 364-1476 or submit an email inquiry.
As with most legal questions, the answer is, "It depends!" In Maine, the divorce court determines what will be paid as spousal support based upon a number of factors. The most important factors include the length of the marriage, the parties' respective incomes and financial circumstances. Other factors include each party's age, each party's education, each party's health and disabilities, economic misconduct, and the parties' standard of living during the marriage.
Each party is required to fill out a financial statement to disclose their income, expenses, assets and debts.
No. However, there is a presumption that "general spousal" support will not be ordered for marriages of less than ten years.
The duration of support determined by the court based on the same factors the court considers when it determines the amount of support. There is a presumption that spousal support will last no longer than half the length of the marriage when the marriage has lasted between ten and twenty years. For example, there someone married for sixteen years will pay/receive support for more than eight years unless there is a good reason that it should last longer.
Usually spousal support is paid directly by the payor to the payee by check or direct deposit.
After spousal support has been agreed-upon or determined by the court, the court enters a spousal support order. Orders may be enforced by the Division of Support Enforcement and Recovery of the Department of Health and Human Services or by the individual entitled to receive support. A party who willfully disobeys a court order can be held in contempt and sent to jail until they comply with the court's order.
Spousal support awards entered before October 1, 2013 can be modified unless the divorce judgment provides that the award is not modifiable. The Maine Supreme Court is currently deciding whether a pre-October 1, 2013 spousal support award is modifiable when the payee remarries. All spousal support awards entered after October 1, 2013 are modifiable "when it appears that justice requires."
The divorce court has the authority to order that a spouse pay support during a divorce, including when the case is on appeal.