Maine Divorce Laws

Divorce residency requirements in Maine

In order to be able to file for complaint for divorce in Maine the Family Court must have jurisdiction over your case. The spouse who is seeking divorce may be able to apply for complaint for divorce under the following conditions:

  • The spouse has resided in the state for a period of no less than 6 months at the time of them applying for divorce
  • The spouse is a resident of the state and was married in the state
  • The spouse filing is a resident of the state and the spouses were residing in the state when the cause of the divorce came about
  • The defendant is a resident of the state
  • The divorce may be applied for in either of the counties in which the spouses reside


Grounds for divorce in Maine

In order to be able to apply for complaint for divorce certain grounds must be met and these are listed below:

No-fault based grounds

  1. Irreconcilable differences in the marriage

Fault-based grounds

  1. Adultery by one of the spouses
  2. Extreme cruelty
  3. Impotence
  4. Desertion for a period of no less than 3 years
  5. Any habitual drug or alcohol abuse
  6. Non-support when one of the spouses has the ability to be able to provide for the other spouse
  7. Cruel and abusive behaviour of any type
  8. Mental illness, which has lasted for a period of 7 years or more Maine Revised Statutes – Title 19A – Sections: 902


Property division when divorcing

In Maine, any property and debt may be divided by the spouses under the marital settlement agreement. If no agreement can be reached, the court will divide any property under an equitable fashion. The Domestic Court will first decide which of the property is considered marital. A value is then put onto the property and this value is divided between the spouses. When dividing property equitably the following is considered:

  1. The contribution of each spouse to the marital property
  2. The value of the value set for each spouse
  3. The economic situation of each of the spouses at the time of property division and the desirability of the spouse who has been given custody of the child, to remain in property for a reasonable amount of time Maine Revised Statutes – Title 19A – Sections: 953


Maine child custody

The courts will consider the following factors when reaching any child custody decisions:

  • The age of the child at the time of filing for divorce
  • The relationship of the parents and the child
  • If the child is old enough their considerations are taken into account
  • The child’s current living arrangements and maintaining continuity
  • Motivation of the spouses when it comes to love, affection and guidance
  • The adjustment of the child to its surrounding
  • How the spouses feel about each other and whether they are likely to encourage a relationship with the other spouse
  • Any affect on the child if one parent is given sole custody
  • Any history of domestic abuse
  • The physical well being of the child
  • Whether the child in question is being breast fed at the time
  • Convictions for a sex offense Maine Revised Statutes – Title 19A – Sections: 1501, 1653


Child support issues

Either or both of the parents may be asked to contribute towards child support costs. Child support guidelines will be followed and the following will be taken into account:

  1. The number of children that require support
  2. If child support and property division is being decided at the same time
  3. The financial resources and the needs of each of the spouses
  4. The standard of living of the child if the divorce had not taken place
  5. The emotional and physical needs of the child
  6. Educational needs
  7. Inflation taken into account for the cost of living
  8. Any tax consequences of the spouses
  9. Any assets which produce an income over $10,000,00 which are owned by either of the spouses
  10. Whether any of the children are above the age of 12
  11. Any costs for transportation of the child Maine Revised Statutes Annotated; Title 19-A, Sections 2001 to 2009