How Are Spousal Support Issues Handled In A Divorce?
Spousal support is dependent upon several factors. An initial determination must be made on whether or not spousal support is warranted in a case. If there is a substantial disparity in the parties relative earning capacities, spousal support may be awarded in certain cases. Earning capacity is not necessarily what a party is earning at the time of the divorce, but could include what a party is capable of earning if voluntarily unemployed or underemployed.
If spousal support is warranted, the next question to be answered involves the length of the marriage. In Maine, there are certain presumptions that have been established by statute. If the parties have been married for 10 years or less, the law presumes that there is no general spousal support. A marriage of 10 years but less than 20 creates a presumption that the term of spousal support is equal to half the length of the marriage. A marriage of 20 years or more can be awarded for an unlimited duration. The date in determining the length of the marriage is measured as of the date of filing.
How Is Spousal Support Calculated In Maine?
There is no formula for calculating spousal support. There are many factors that affect the length and amount of a spousal support award. A spousal support award is determined on a case by case basis taking in many factors to include, but not be limited to, the ability of each party to pay; the age of each party; the employment history and employment potential of each party; the education and training of each party; the provisions for retirement and health insurance benefits of each party; and several more. The trial judge has wide discretion in determining the length and amount of any award.
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