The following is a summary of Maine alimony laws, and is by no means intended to be an all-inclusive description of what to expect in your particular case. In some cases, the exact text of the statute may have been simplified and/or modified to provide for easier understanding. For a more specific understanding of the laws, you should consult the full Maine Code and/or consult with an attorney about how the law might apply to your particular situation.

Marriage Less than 10 Years.

There is a refutable presumption that alimony may not be awarded if the parties were married for less than 10 years. There is also a rebuttal presumption that alimony may not be awarded for a term exceeding 1/2 the length of the marriage if the parties were married for at least 10 years but not more than 20 years as of the date of the filing of the action for divorce. (i.e. if the parties were married 14 years, alimony payments should not exceed 7 years following the divorce).

If the court finds that a spousal support award based upon the above presumption would be inequitable or unjust, that finding is sufficient to rebut the applicable presumption.

Transitional or Rehabilitative Alimony.

Transitional alimony may be awarded to provide for a spouse’s transitional needs, including, but not limited to:

  1. Short-term needs resulting from financial dislocations associated with the dissolution of the marriage; or
  2. Reentry or advancement in the work force, including, but not limited to, physical or emotional rehabilitation services, vocational training and education.

Reimbursement Alimony.

Reimbursement alimony may be awarded to achieve an equitable result in the overall dissolution of the parties’ financial relationship in response to exceptional circumstances, only if the parties’ financial circumstances do not permit the court to fully divide the parties’ property in an equitable manner. Exceptional circumstances include, but are not limited to:

  1. Economic misconduct by a spouse; and
  2. Substantial contributions a spouse made towards the educational or occupational advancement of the other spouse during the marriage.

Alimony Pendente Lite.

Interim support may be awarded to provide for a spouse’s separate support during a pending action for divorce or judicial separation.

Nominal support may be awarded to preserve the court’s authority to grant spousal support in the future.

Alimony Guidelines.

Alimony may be awarded in Maine to provide financial assistance to a spouse with substantially less income potential than the other spouse, so that both spouses can maintain a reasonable standard of living after the divorce. Maine laws specify the following guidelines when determining an award of alimony in Maine:

  1. The length of the marriage;
  2. The ability of each party to pay;
  3. The age of each party;
  4. The employment history and employment potential of each party;
  5. The income history and income potential of each party;
  6. The education and training of each party;
  7. The provisions for retirement and health insurance benefits of each party;
  8. The tax consequences of the division of marital property, including the tax consequences of the sale of the marital home, if applicable;
  9. The health and disabilities of each party;
  10. The tax consequences of a spousal support award;
  11. The contributions of either party as homemaker;
  12. The contributions of either party to the education or earning potential of the other party;
  13. Economic misconduct by either party resulting in the diminution of marital property or income;
  14. The standard of living of the parties during the marriage;
  15. The ability of the party seeking support to become self-supporting within a reasonable period of time;
  16. The effect of the following on a party’s need for spousal support or a party’s ability to pay spousal support:
    1. Actual or potential income from marital or nonmarital property as part of the property division; and
    2. Child support for the support of a minor child or children of the marriage.
  17. Any other factors not specifically expressed in these laws that the court considers appropriate.

-From 951A of the Maine Statutes.


This information has been summarized from the Maine statutes. You can find the full-text version of these and other Maine divorce statutes online here: Maine Divorce Laws.




IMPORTANT: Help Yourself Divorce is a paralegal service, not a law firm. Please don’t rely on this information for legal advice. Seek help from an attorney if you need legal advice.


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