Maine Divorce Guidelines to File for a Divorce
Divorce Requirements for Maine Residents
Any of the residency requirements must first be met in filing for divorce in Maine. The petitioner must have lived in the Pine Tree State for at least six months preceding the filing, or the petitioner is a bona fide resident of Maine and that the couple was married in the State. Another requirements are when both spouses lived in the State when the cause of the divorce happened or if the defendant is a resident of Maine at the time of filing.
Maine Grounds For Divorce
Maine has both no-fault and fault-based grounds for divorce.
Irreconcilable marital differences
- Alcohol and/or substance abuse
- Extreme cruelty
- Desertion for at least three consecutive years preceding the divorce filing
- Willful non-support, when one spouse has the capacity to provide for the other spouse but wantonly refuses to.
Child Custody Law in Maine
The State of Maine no longer uses the term “Custody” but uses “Parental Rights and Responsibilities” and “Residency.” These two are categories of what used to be called “Child Custody.” Maine family courts put the child’s best interests as paramount, as they consider some of the factors below in their decisions:
- Age of the child;
- Preferences of the child if the child is old enough to make sound preferences;
- Relationship of the child with each parent;
- History of domestic abuse by each parent;
- Parties’ motivations and capacities to give love, affection, and guidance to the child;
- Duration and adequacy of child’s current living arrangements;
- Effect on the child if one parent is given sole authority in the child’s upbringing; and
- Child’s adjustment to home, school, and community.
Guidelines for Maine Child Support
Maine child support guidelines are enacted by the Department of Human Services. These are based on official guidelines and on the income shares model for calculating child support.
Applying these guidelines and proportionally dividing each parent’s income can determine monthly financial support, however, the court may deviate from these guidelines depending on the underlying circumstances.
Where to file for a divorce?
Maine divorce forms can be filed in the county where either of the spouses resides.
For a fast and inexpensive divorce process, you can file Maine online divorce forms.
Refer to the “Divorce Requirements for Maine Residents” above and also review the best online divorce sites.
Divorce mediation in Maine is a neutral and confidential process where the mediator, an independent third party, helps the spouses in arriving at a mutually beneficial resolution to their issues. These include discussing their assets, allocating child support and alimony amounts, and laying out the spouses’ rights and responsibilities as parents. Unlike court litigation, the process of mediation is less hostile and acrimonious, and more cost-efficient and time-saving. Parties may seek for mediation before or after filing the Maine divorce forms.
Need information for a different state?
You may also visit the Maine Courts for more information