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How to get a divorce in maine

How to get a divorce in maine


Divorce can be a challenging process, both emotionally and legally. If you’re considering how to get a divorce in Maine, this comprehensive guide will provide you with valuable insights and step-by-step instructions. We’ll cover essential aspects of the divorce process, ensuring you have the information needed to make informed decisions.

Step 1: Meet Residency Requirements

Before initiating the divorce process in Maine, you must ensure that you or your spouse meet the state’s residency requirements. At least one spouse must have lived in Maine for at least six months before filing for divorce.

Step 2: Choose the Divorce Grounds

Maine allows for both no-fault and fault-based grounds for divorce. No-fault grounds include irreconcilable marital differences, while fault-based grounds encompass reasons such as adultery, cruelty, and desertion.

Step 3: Prepare and File the Complaint

To begin the divorce process, you need to prepare a divorce complaint that outlines the grounds for divorce and other relevant information. File the complaint with the appropriate court in your county.

Step 4: Serve the Complaint

Once the complaint is filed, you must serve it to your spouse. This can be done by mail, in person, or through a sheriff or process server.

Step 5: Response from Spouse

After being served, your spouse has a specific time frame to respond to the complaint. If they don’t respond within the allotted time, the divorce may proceed as uncontested.

Step 6: Division of Assets and Debts

Maine follows the principle of equitable distribution, meaning marital assets and debts are divided fairly but not necessarily equally. Work with your spouse to determine a suitable division or seek legal assistance if necessary.

Step 7: Child Custody and Support

If you have children, decisions regarding custody, visitation, and child support need to be addressed. Courts prioritize the best interests of the child when making these determinations.

Step 8: Alimony Considerations

Alimony, also known as spousal support, may be awarded based on factors such as the length of the marriage, financial disparities between spouses, and contributions to the marriage.

Step 9: Finalize the Divorce

Once all matters are resolved, the court will issue a divorce decree finalizing the dissolution of your marriage.

Useful Resources Links

For additional guidance on how to get a divorce in Maine, consider these resources:

  1. Maine Judicial Branch – Divorce and Separation


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

The duration of a divorce in Maine can vary based on factors such as the complexity of the case and court availability. It may take several months to a year to complete the process.

Can I get a divorce without an attorney?

Yes, you can file for divorce without an attorney. However, legal advice is recommended, especially if your case involves complex issues.

Is mediation required in Maine divorces?

Mediation is not mandatory in Maine, but it can be a helpful alternative to litigation, promoting more amicable resolutions.

Can I modify child custody arrangements after the divorce is finalized?

Yes, child custody arrangements can be modified if there are significant changes in circumstances that warrant a modification.


Getting a divorce in Maine involves navigating legal procedures and making important decisions. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article and seeking professional advice when needed, you can navigate the divorce process with greater confidence and understanding.

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