Maine Maine

Divorce Law Guide

Maine Divorce Overview

Residency Requirement
Living Separate & Apart
Processing Time
Filing Fee
6 months
60 days

The facts about divorce in Maine

Divorce, or dissolution of marriage, is the legal process of severing a marriage contract, which is overseen by a court of law in the state in which one or both of the divorcing spouses live. The process for getting a divorce and acceptible grounds for divorce vary from state to state.

In Maine, a divorce can be completed on average in a minimum of 60 days, with court fees of $120.00. The state has divorce residency requirements that require the spouse filing for the divorce to have lived in Maine for a minimum of six months.

On this page, you can learn about Maine's grounds for divorce, how the divorce process works, and about other parts of the divorce process, such as Maine alimony calculation, the property division process and more.

Maine Divorce Law Summary

To be eligible to file for divorce in the state of Maine, the spouse is required to be a resident for a minimum of six months. The courts will not consider a petition until that requirement is met.

Maine has two options for divorce. A spouse can file a no fault which will need both parties to agree upon and prove that their marriage has become irreconcilable. How to categorically prove this is usually a signed affidavit, but each court may have its requirements.

The other option is a fault divorce, which is when either spouse has committed an offense that the state recognizes as grounds for divorce. Maine knows only "A. Adultery; B. Impotence; C. Extreme cruelty; D. Utter desertion continued for 3 consecutive years prior to the commencement of the action; E. Gross and confirmed habits of intoxication from the use of liquor or drugs; F. Nonsupport, when one spouse has sufficient ability to provide for the other spouse and grossly, wantonly or cruelly refuses or neglects to provide suitable maintenance for the complaining spouse; G. Cruel and abusive treatment; H. Mental illness requiring confinement in a mental institution for at least 7 consecutive years prior to the commencement of the action."

To begin the process, the petitioner must file a petition for a divorce decree with their local county court and provide all required documentation and signatures as instructed by the country clerk.

Maine Divorce Guide - Frequently Asked Questions

In state of Maine a number of factors are taken into account when ending a marriage.

1. Maine Grounds for Divorce FAQ

Is Maine a no-fault divorce state?

Maine allows no-fault divorces, which means that a divorce is granted without establishing the fault of either spouse for causing the divorce. Grounds for a no-fault divorce in Maine may be "irreconcilable differences", or similar grounds.

Does Maine allow at-fault divorces?

In addition to no-fault grounds for divorce, Maine is a fault divorce state which provides the option to file for a traditional at-fault divorce. Suing for an at-fault divorce alleges that the filer's spouse is the cause of the divorce due to engaging in one of Maine's at-fault divorce grounds, such as adultery, abuse, or insanity.

In some cases, an at-fault divorce is pursued because it can entitle the suing spouse to a greater share of marital property or even punitive alimony payments if their partner's fault is proven. If their spouse contests these allegations, they may be challenged in court, which can lead to a lengthy and expensive legal process.

Does the state of Maine allow incompatibility as grounds for divorce?

Yes, Maine does allow incompatibility to be used as grounds for having a divorce.

Can you get a divorce in Maine for living separate and apart?

In divorce law, "living seperate and apart" refers to married spouses who are living separate from each other, not engaging in a traditional marital relationship, and do not intend to repair the marriage.

Maine does not allow a divorce to be granted solely on the grounds of living seperate and apart from your spouse. You must instead file for divorce under one of Maine's accepted grounds for divorce.

2. Maine Divorce Process FAQ

Does state of Maine allow legal separation?

Legal separation (otherwise known as "judicial separation") is a legal process that enables spouses to be de facto separated while remaining legally married.

In some cases, Maine will grant a judicial separation court order to a married couple who wishes to live separately. This order may settle issues generally handled in a divorce such as property division and alimony. A legal separation may be followed up by a full divorce, or the spouses may later reconcile and end the separation while remaining legally married.

What's the difference between a divorce and an annulment in Maine?

While a divorce is the process of exiting a legally valid marriage, an annulment is the process of rendering a marriage null and void. An annulment makes it legally as if a marriage never took place to begin with.

Generally, annulment is used to conclude a marriage that should not have been legally recognized in the first place, such as a marriage where one of the spouses was unable to consent (by virtue of being underage, due to mental incapacity, or even intoxication), a marriage that was entered into under duress or via fraudulent means, or when one of the spouses was already legally married.

How long do I have to live in in the state of Maine to get a divorce?

The state of Maine requires that spouses suing for divorce to have lived in the state for a minimum of six months prior to filing divorce papers. Otherwise, Maine courts are not considered to have jurisdiction over the divorce case.

What is the filing fee for a divorce in Maine?

The court fees for filing the paperwork for a basic divorce in a Maine court is $120.00. However, the total costs for a divorce can be much higher - especially in the case of a contested divorce, where attorney fees and mediation costs average from $15,000 to $20,000 or more.

How long does it take to get a divorce in Maine?

If the process moves along without holdups, the paperwork for a divorce in Maine can be processed in a minimum of 60 days. However, if the spouses are not in agreement about the divorce process, a contested divorce can take significantly longer.

3. Maine General Divorce FAQ

Can my spouse stop me from getting a divorce?

Even if one spouse is opposed to getting a divorce, they cannot stop their partner from filing for and receiving a divorce in Maine. While filing a non-contested joint petition for divorce speeds up the process, either spouse can file for divorce individually at any time.

Maine permits spouses to sue for an at-fault divorce, and in this case their partner can contest the allegations in court. A non-fault petition for divorce, however, can generally not be contested by an unwilling spouse in Maine.

Does Maine have any limitations on remarriage after a divorce?

Maine has no mandatory waiting period between the finalization of a divorce and either of the ex-spouses getting remarried. Remarriage following a divorce may affect the continued payment of alimony.

What is the divorce rate in Maine?

According to the most recent CDC study, the yearly divorce rate in Maine is 11 per 1,000 total population. The national divorce rate is 6.9 per 1,000 total population. Various studies suggest that nationwide, 30% to 50% of all marriages end in divorce.

Does Maine recognize same sex divorces?

Maine recognizes both same sex marriages and same sex divorces. The process of getting a seme-sex divorce is the same as a heterosexual divorce.

| State Law Official Text

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