On Thursday, June 8th, Governor Mills signed into law LD 947: An Act to Address the Long-Term Impact of Economic Abuse by a Spouse. MCEDV worked with Representative Laura Supica of Bangor and Pine Tree Legal Assistance to put forward this legislation. It further responds to the call of survivors across Maine for more effective relief to address economic abuse.
The Passage of LD 947 Means…
Maine’s family courts now consider the impact of economic abuse on dividing property and spousal support decisions in divorce cases. It adds economic abuse to the factors a court should consider when determining the “equitable” distribution of marital property. Also, whether to order spousal support, and what form that support should take.
Survivor Kerry Bowman testified, “Judges should be empowered to right economic wrongs done to us by our abusers if appropriate, not be bound to a 50-50 division of assets as the gold standard of fairness.”
Representative Supica noted to the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary in April, “The impacts of economic abuse can dramatically derail a survivor’s economic, emotional, and physical well-being for years to come. Even after the abuse stopped. It is imperative to consider these lasting consequences when evaluating spousal support payments or asset division.”
For More Information
Find more information about the impact of economic abuse on survivors in Maine in our 2019 report. This newest effort builds upon legislation passed in 2019. It defined economic abuse in Maine law and provided protections through the Protection from Abuse process.
MCEDV extends our gratitude to Representative Supica for partnering with us on this important legislation, the survivors who testified in support of the bill, and the Maine Legislature for their unanimous support. This legislation is one more important step forward in advancing economic justice for survivors of domestic abuse in our state.