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FamilyAttorney
FamilyAttorney, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Owner, attorney in private practice, appellate attorney, GAL & former trial lawyer, licensed for 37 years
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Question about Maine laws for divorce

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Question about Maine laws for divorce
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 7 months ago.

Hello and thanks for using Just Answer. I’m a licensed attorney with 36 years’ experience in family law appeals and landlord-tenant law. I look forward to helping you today.

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Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 7 months ago.

It may be beneficial for you to wait until the ten year mark to get divorced. If you file at the nine year mark, there is no guarantee you will be getting alimony.

In Maine, the law is this:

There is a rebuttable presumption that general support may not be awarded if the parties were married for less than 10 years as of the date of the filing of the action for divorce. There is also a rebuttable presumption that general support 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.

That means that generally speaking, alimony won't be awarded until you've been married 10 years. However, rebuttable presumption means that you can show that you need alimony. You are well-advised to get an attorney, even though I know that many people do divorces in Maine without attorneys. Still, it's always better to have an attorney than not to have one.

The reubuttable presumption means you have to show that you absolutely need alimony. The law for that is here:

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

That means that if the court finds that it would be unfair for you to be deprived of alimony, it can award alimony to you. The problem is, it can award it to you -- it doesn't have to. You have a better chance after being married for 10 years, but even after 10 years, you may only get alimony that is not as much as you think. So, according to the above, you may only be able to get alimony for up to 5 years.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 7 months ago.

Your spouse can be responsible for paying for your support during separation if he is what is called the "monied spouse." If he makes enough money and more than you do, he can be responsible for temporary support. The law says: Interim support may be awarded to provide for a spouse's separate support during the pendency of an action for divorce or judicial separation.

It does not state how much support you will get, but it's done on a case-by-case basis, so each person's case is different. It's up to the judge or magistrate if you will get support during the period of separation.

Regarding SSDI: If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI, or SSD) based on your own work history, your payments will not be affected by your divorce because the amount of the disability payment is dependent on your work history alone, and not your spouse’s.

Does this answer your question or do you have more questions?

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 7 months ago.

From what you asked, and from what the law says, you're better off waiting another year if you can. If not, you may lose out on alimony. If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI, or SSD) based on your own work history, your payments will not be affected by your divorce because the amount of the disability payment is dependent on your work history alone, and not your spouse’s.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 7 months ago.

I am more than happy to find lawyers in your area if you'd like. If you're near Portland or Bangor, that would be a good place to look for attorneys, or you can look in Brunswick area if you're near there. I can find them for you if you'd like. I do this as a free service for all my customers here who would like names of family lawyers. Just let me know! And you can always ask me follow-up questions free of charge.

I am more than happy to answer additional questions based on this one if you want.

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Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 7 months ago.

Also, last point, he has considerable income, so it is entirely possible that a court will require him to pay alimony even though you've been married less than 10 years but it is not mandatory and a judge who wants to follow the law exactly as written will not necessarily grant alimony. You'd have to show that you need it and that he has it. If you can do that, then perhaps you can alimony if married less than 10 years but I wouldn't necessarily advise it. I have answered all of your questions, so thank you in advance for rating me, as we cannot be paid unless we have a fair rating from our customers. I make sure to be thorough with my answers and to make sure my customers have every question answered for them. Be well and let me know if you want attorney's names.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 7 months ago.

Hi, just checking in to see if you still need help with your question and if my answer was helpful for you. Thanks and thank you for allowing me to help you.

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