Divorce Laws on Alimony in the State of Maine

By Heather Frances J.D.

If your marriage ends, you may ask the court for alimony, or spousal support, as part of your Maine divorce decree, but alimony is not automatically awarded. Unlike child support, there is no calculation method for alimony. So, your divorce judge has wide discretion when deciding whether to award alimony and, if so, how much to award.

Types of Alimony

Maine’s alimony laws are located in section 951-A of Maine Revised Statutes, which permit a court to award several types of alimony: general support, transitional support, reimbursement support, nominal support and interim support. General support is given to help a spouse that has substantially less income potential than the other spouse. Transitional support is intended for spouses who need help temporarily to reestablish their household after divorce or to obtain training or education to increase their earning potential. Reimbursement support may be ordered when one spouse has substantially contributed to the education or career advancement of the other spouse or because of one spouse’s economic misconduct. Nominal support simply preserves the court’s authority to increase spousal support in the future. Interim support is awarded to cover expenses while the divorce is pending.

Methods of Payment and Limitations

In Maine, the court’s alimony award must state how the alimony is to be paid. The court can order payment by lump sum, installment or any other method the court feels is appropriate. The court may also place limitations on the award, such as limits on the way an award can be paid, future modifications to the amount of the award and modifications to the length of the term of payment.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More


When a Maine court considers alimony, it must consider the factors listed in state law. These factors include the duration of the marriage, ability of each spouse to pay alimony, employment potential of the spouses, spouses’ ages and contributions each spouse made as homemaker or to the earning potential of the other spouse. The court is not limited to consider only the factors listed in the statutes since one of the factors allows the court to consider any other factors the court feels is appropriate.

Length of Marriage Presumptions

When a spouse asks for general support, Maine law contains rebuttable presumptions about whether such support should be awarded based on the length of the marriage. If spouses are married for less than 10 years, the law presumes general support should not be awarded. If spouses are married for 10 to 20 years, the law presumes general support should not be awarded for any period longer than half the length of the marriage. However, the spouse asking for alimony may rebut these presumptions by proving that the presumption would be unjust in her situation.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How Long Do You Have to Be Married to Receive Spousal Support?


Related articles

California Divorce Law Regarding Alimony

California spousal support, or alimony, is designed to maintain one party in the divorce in the same lifestyle she enjoyed during the marriage. Spousal support is money paid by one spouse to the other in accordance with a court order issued during divorce or separation proceedings. State divorce laws set the court guidelines for spousal support awards.

Wyoming Laws on Alimony

Alimony, or spousal support, is money paid by a party to a former spouse. Wyoming, like all states, has a specific set of laws governing alimony awards. Wyoming, also like all states, allows individuals to obtain a divorce without proving the other party was at fault. Alimony is not intended to punish a paying spouse, but rather to provide fair and necessary assistance to the spouse who needs it. Alimony statutes are gender neutral; both men and women can receive it.

Spousal Support & Divorce Law: Displaced Homemakers Rights

The most vulnerable of divorcing spouses are those who have devoted their lives to their home and children while their partners earn income. These displaced homemakers are rarely able to earn enough to support themselves when they lose their partner’s financial support through divorce. Even the most anti-alimony state legislatures recognize this. Displaced homemakers have a right to continued support when their marriages end, although the laws are more generous in some states than in others.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Alimony Laws in Kansas

Alimony, also called spousal support, may be awarded during a divorce proceeding in Kansas. Alimony is paid by one ...

Ohio Laws on Spousal Support in a Marriage Dissolution

When married couples make the difficult decision to get divorced, the issue of spousal support can become quite ...

How to Calculate Alimony in New Hampshire

The marriage relationship is supportive in nature. For that reason, courts in New Hampshire are sensitive to the needs ...

Is it True a Husband Always Has to Pay Alimony When They Get Divorced?

When couples divorce, one or both spouses may ask the court to award alimony, also known as spousal support and ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED