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you probably have a lot of questions about Spousal support.  I will answer some of those questions below.  I'm looking forward to our first meeting and learning more about your case.


How Much Will I Pay/Receive in Spousal Support?

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.

Do I Have to Be Married for Ten Years to Pay or Receive Spousal Support?

​No.  However, there is a presumption that "general spousal" support will not be ordered for marriages of less than ten years.

How Long Will I Pay/Receive Support?

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.

How Is Spousal Support Paid?

Usually spousal support is paid directly by the payor to the payee by check or direct deposit.  

How is Spousal Support Enforced?

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.

Can Spousal Support Be Changed After Divorce?

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."  

Will I Pay or Receive Spousal Support
During My Divorce?

The divorce court has the authority to order that a spouse pay support during​ a divorce, including when the case is on appeal.  



Law Office of
Christopher S. Berryment, Esq.


Ph. 207-364-1476 | Fax 207-245-1632

129 Main Street, Mexico, Maine 04257