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Filing for Divorce in Maine

Filing for Divorce in Maine

Getting a Divorce in Maine? Divorce Law Cheat Sheet for the State of Maine


1. What are the residency requirements for filing for divorce in Maine?  
In Maine, there are several ways to meet the residency requirements. You may file in Maine if:

  • You or your spouse has been a resident of the state for at least six months before filing.
  • You are a resident of the state and you were married in the state.
  • You are a resident of the state and you and your spouse lived in the state when the cause of the divorce occurred.  

Maine law also requires you to file in the county where either you or your spouse lives.  

2. Does Maine have a waiting period?       
The court will not hold a final hearing on your divorce for at least 60 days after filing.  

3. Does the state have grounds for divorce?  
Yes. In Maine, you can file for a divorce on these grounds:

  • Adultery — having an affair.
  • Impotence.
  • Extreme cruelty.
  • Desertion for at least three years before filing.
  • Extreme, repeated intoxication or use of drugs.
  • Nonsupport (this means that one of you has the ability to provide for the other but completely or cruelly refuses or neglects to do so).
  • Cruel and abusive treatment.
  • Incapacitation, if there is a judicial ruling confirming your spouse is incapacitated and a guardian has been appointed for him or her.  

You also may file on the ground of irreconcilable differences. If your spouse denies that there are irreconcilable differences, the court may put your case on hold and require you to attend counseling before ruling on this ground.  

4. How does Maine determine the division of property?    
You and your spouse are encouraged to come up with a settlement on your own and present it to the court. If you can’t agree, the court will divide your property for you.  

In Maine, marital property means all property acquired by you and your spouse after you were married (regardless of whose name is on the title), with the exception of:

  • Property that you acquired by gift or inheritance.
  • Property that you received in exchange for property that you acquired by gift or inheritance.
  • Property that you or your spouse acquired after you were legally separated.
  • Property that you and your spouse agree to leave out of the discussion.
  • Any increase in value of property that you acquired before you were married and any increase in value of your non-marital property (unless that increase is a result of the investment of marital funds or a result of effort on the part of you or your spouse to manage or improve that property).  

The court will divvy your marital property in a way it finds most fair, taking into account the following factors:

  • You and your spouse’s contributions to the acquisition of your marital property, including any contribution as a homemaker.
  • The value of your separate property.
  • You and your spouse’s economic circumstances, including whether your home or the right to live in your home should be awarded to the parent with custody.  

5. Does Maine require mediation before a divorce is granted?  
The court may order you and your spouse to attend mediation any time there is an issue in dispute between you.  

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