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Maine Divorce Self-Help Center

Many customer Maine divorce questions are answered here.  Browse from the topics below or use the search box to narrow your search.
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General Information State Procedures   Custody, Visitation, Support
  Property and Debts   Special Circumstances Additional Resources
What are the grounds for filing for divorce in Maine? 2822
In xxstatename, a divorce may be granted on the grounds of irreconcilable marital differences. 19-A M.R.S.A. § 902.
Where do I file my divorce papers in Maine? 2815
Divorce papers may be filed in the District Court in the county where either party resides.
What documents are included in the self-prepared Maine DivorceWriter package? 2827
If you select a Maine divorce without children, you are selecting the following forms:
  • Complaint for Divorce
  • Social Security Number Confidential Disclosure Form
  • Family Matter Summary Sheet
  • Certificate(s) in Lieu of Financial Statement
  • Certificate Regarding Real Estate (if the parties own real estate)
  • Certificate in Lieu of Case Management Conference
  • Settlement Agreement
  • Federal Affidavit
  • Acknowledgement of Receipt of Summons and Complaint
  • Entry of Appearance

  • If you select a Maine divorce with children, you are selecting the non-children forms as well as Child Support Affidavit(s) and Child Support Worksheet(s).
Will either of us be required to attend a court hearing? 2817
In Maine, a Case Management Conference is usually held prior to the final divorce hearing. The Plaintiff will file a Certificate in Lieu of Case Management Conference requesting this preliminary conference requirement to be waived. The judge will review the divorce documents after they are filed and upon finding the parties are in agreement with regard to all divorce matters, may waive the Case Management Conference. The parties will still have to attend a short final divorce hearing.
What is considered to be the date of separation in Maine? 2819
The term "separation date" refers to the date when the spouses stopped living at the same residence. However, Maine does not require the spouses to be separated prior to filing for divorce.
Do we have to be separated to get a divorce in Maine? 2830
No, Maine state law does not require the spouses be separated in order to get a divorce.
Can I change my name in Maine divorce proceedings? 2831
Yes, either party may change his/her name in Maine divorce proceedings. Either party may request to change his/her name to a former name requested or any other name requested. [19-A M.R.S.A. § 1051]
How do I serve my spouse with the divorce papers in Maine? 2829
The Plaintiff hand-delivers or mails a copy of the Complaint for Divorce, Family Matter Summons and Preliminary Injunction, and Child Support Affidavit - Plaintiff(if children are involved) to the Defendant.
The Defendant completes an Acknowledgment of Receipt of Summons and Complaint, which the Plaintiff then files with the Clerk of the District Court.
What are the Maine residency requirements for filing for divorce? 2821
A person seeking a divorce may file a complaint for divorce in the District Court if any of the following:
  1. The plaintiff has resided in good faith in Maine for 6 months prior to the filing of the divorce;
  2. The plaintiff is a resident of Maine and the parties were married in Maine;
  3. The plaintiff is a resident of Maine and the parties resided in Maine when irreconcilable marital differences started; OR
  4. The defendant is a resident of Maine.
    [19-A M.R.S.A. § 901]
Does Maine require divorcing spouses and/or their child(ren) to attend a class or seminar on coping with divorce? 2833
In Maine, divorcing spouses and/or their child(ren) are required to attend a class or seminar on coping with divorce only if the family law magistrate or judge orders them to do so.
What are the basic steps to getting a divorce in Maine? 2825
The basic steps for filing your divorce are as follows:
  1. Plaintiff obtains a Summons from the Clerk of the District Court.
  2. Plaintiff serves the Defendant a copy of the divorce documents.
  3. Defendant completes the necessary paperwork and returns it to the Plaintiff.
  4. Plaintiff files the divorce documents.
  5. Plaintiff and Defendant receive a Notice of Final Hearing from the Court.
  6. Plaintiff and Defendant attend the final hearing.
How long does it usually take to finalize a divorce in Maine? 2828
In Maine, sixty (60) days must pass from the date the Complaint for Divorce was filed and the time a final hearing may be scheduled.
How much is the filing fee in Maine? 2826
The District Court filing fee in Maine is $120.00. Please note that the District Court Clerk's office typically charges an additional $5.00 to issue a .
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What are the different types of custody in Maine? 2823
Maine recognizes three types of parental rights and responsibilities: shared, sole, and allocated rights and responsibilities.

Shared parental rights and responsibilities means that most or all aspects of a child's welfare remain the joint responsibility and right of both parents.

Sole parental rights and responsibilities means that one parent is granted exclusive parental rights and responsibilities for all aspects of a child's welfare.

Allocated parental rights and responsibilities means that certain duties are divided between the parents. The parent allocated a particular responsibility has the right to control that aspect of the child's welfare. Each right and responsibility may be divided between parents exclusively to one parent, or proportionally between each parent. Examples include: the primary physical residence of children, the type and amount of parent-child contact, support, education, medical care, religious upbringing, etc.
What if my spouse and I have agreed to use a child support amount that is different from the standard amount set by the Child Support Guidelines? 2818
DivorceWriter shows the child support calculation under the guidelines using the Maine family support charts.

The customer chooses whether to use the guideline calculation or to deviate from that calculation by entering a different child support amount. If the amount is a deviation from the basic support obligation, the customer will explain the reasons for the deviation in the Settlement Agreement. The court may grant less or more support if the evidence shows that the needs of the dependent(s) require a different level of support.
We already have a child support order issued by a judge. Will we be able to keep the same amount? 2832
DivorceWriter provides the option to enter information regarding an existing child support order including the amount of support ordered and other identifying case information. Generally, you must also file a copy of already existing child support document(s) with the court.
When can a child support order be modified in Maine? 2824
A child support order may be modified in Maine upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances. [19-A M.R.S.A. § 2009]
How is child support calculated in Maine? 2816
Child support is calculated in Maine by first determining the combined annual gross income of both parties. The combined annual gross income is applied to the child support table to determine the basic support entitlement for each child. [19-A M.R.S.A. § 2006]
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