Maine Divorce & Separation
While separations and divorces are common in every state, the laws and rules that govern these processes can vary widely depending on your state of residence. It’s important to know the particulars of your state before getting a Maine divorce or separation. What are the requirements for getting a divorce in Maine? Is mediation a requirement before you can get a Maine divorce? What is Maine law on annulments? Find the answers to your Maine divorce questions here.
Maine Legal Separation:
Legal separations are allowed in Maine when the court finds the marriage is temporarily disrupted. A petition for separation is required, and two years is the maximum time period granted. Once the separation is granted, the court may modify or add to the decree in order to provide support and maintenance (either from a spouse or the property of either spouse) for minor children, and possible spousal support.
Grounds for Divorce/Fault – No Fault:
Maine has both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. For no-fault divorces, the parties need simply show “irreconcilable differences” to establish grounds for the divorce. Fault-based divorces, on the other hand, require more specific grounds, such as: adultery, impotence, extreme cruelty, or utter desertion for 3 years.
Residency/Where to File for Divorce:
To file for divorce, the plaintiff must be a resident of Maine for six months, and/or be married in the state while a resident, and/or the defendant must reside in the state. The petition for divorce should be filed with the family court in the petitioner/applicant’s local circuit.
Maine Divorce/Child Support/Child Custody Lawyers:
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Divorce Mediation in Maine:
For marriages with children, the court has the right to order counseling for the parents and/or counseling for the children, which would likely involve the services of a well-trained, court-appointed mediator. The results of the mediation session are shared with the court.
An annulment is a court declaration that your marriage is legally invalid. In other words, rather than ending a marriage via divorce, an annulment is a declaration that the marriage was never valid to begin with, for reasons including: consent obtained by fraud, duress, one party’s minor status at the time of consent, consanguinity, one party’s lacking mental capacity, and in some cases a party’s affliction with “loathsome disease” unknown to the petitioner. The underage grounds are valid until the parties obtain legal age and freely cohabit; the grounds of lack of mental capacity are valid as long as that state persists.
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