Maine divorce details
Uncontested vs Contested Divorce in Maine
An Uncontested Divorce indicates that both you and your spouse agree on all of the divorce issues, like child custody, property division, common debts, alimony, etc. If one of your couple doesn’t match on one item of your divorce agreement, such a case is thought to be a Contested one. The Contested Divorce is a much more complicated process due to various additional fees, mediation procedures, court hearings, etc. The key difference between both cases is that the Contested one requires more efforts and is the most expensive among other divorce types. The spouses usually cannot find a common language with each other on the property division or the child custody, so all their claims they should determine by means of the specific papers and forms. You can pay twice more for the dealing with the documents. The Uncontested Divorce is the most convenient way of the marriage termination, so let’s cover all the detail of it.
Uncontested Divorce in Maine
The Uncontested Divorce is the most desirable for the spouses, because if you want to get divorce mutually, you should choose the Uncontested Divorce. As we have already agreed with you, the Uncontested Divorce if cheaper and more convenient for dealing with. There are several grounds for the Uncontested Divorce. Let’s have look at them.
Grounds for the Uncontested Divorce
In Maine, there are some remarkable grounds for the Uncontested Divorce:
- The adultery
- The cruelty and violent behavior towards any member of the family
- The incurable insanity of one of the spouses
- The mental illness
- The violent treatment towards one of the spouses
- The lavish drunkenness of one of the spouses
- The incest
- The excessive drinking of any member of the family
All these grounds are worth discussing a lot, but, to be honest, we can assume that no one ground can be announced in the courtroom because it can immediately be converted to the Contested Divorce. The spouses just sign the Petition, other important documents and get the Final Decree. The entry-level trial courts in Maine are named District Courts. The Family Court manages all the Uncontested Divorces, considering a child custody, the alimony, and other family issues. The Family Court makes all the decisions a little bit quicker than other courts, but under the condition that the spouses agree on everything indeed.
Maine Residency Requirements to file for the divorce
In Maine, the residency requirements are not so severe but you should meet them if you want to get an Uncontested Divorce easily. Here are the main residency requirements of the State of Maine:
- The Defendant has lived in the State of Maine for at least six months
- The Defendant is a current resident of Maine
- The marriage registration took place also in Maine
- The Petitioner is also a resident of Maine
- Both spouses are currently living in Maine
If the couple meets all the residency requirements, the Superior Court will approve the Petition for the Uncontested Divorce with no doubts, in case there any troubles in the requirements, the court may prolong the divorce process until it becomes the truly Uncontested one.
How to file for an Uncontested Divorce in Maine
The first step to file for the Uncontested Divorce is to sign the Petition for the Divorce. This is the authoritative document to start the process. The subsequent step will be to sign it and fill other documents and forms for the divorce procedure. You will have to sign also the Marital Settlement Agreement to establish the Uncontested Divorce. Then, you will serve your spouse with all the needed documents to file with the court. The following step will be to wait until your spouse answers your Petition and signs all the papers. Approximately, it can take for the waiting period about 20 days. In some counties, this term can be prolonged. The last step is to go to the court to schedule the Final Judgment. If everything is correct, the court will confer you the Final Decree as soon as possible.
Do-It-Yourself Divorce in Maine
Do-It-Yourself Divorce suggests that conduct every single proceeding for the divorce by yourself. You prepare the documents for the court, embody yourself in the court if needed, apply for the child or spousal support, etc. The DIY Divorce seems to be a pretty good decision, but you should remember the following aspects of such a procedure:
- Never fulfill any action without the 100% assurance that you know what to do
- Check the accuracy of the ready documents
- Serve your spouse with at least 3 copies of each document in advance
- Be set for the Court Hearing in advance
- Save extra money for the overhead costs
In Maine, the DIY Divorce is a true deal, because you need neither an attorney nor any other legal body to help you. Anyway, the process is still rather risky and requires a great number of attempts from both spouses.
How much does an Uncontested Divorce cost in Maine
In comparison with other states, in Maine, the entire cost for the divorce ranges from $9 000 to 11 000, according to the advanced research in 2018. This price holds all the issues of the divorce procedure, like the attorney help, the court filing fee, the child custody solving, etc. The Uncontested Divorce will become twice more efficient if you apply the preparation of the documents online. It will cost $149 with no hidden fees or other additional charges. All the cases are individual, and the fees are also highly individual, concerning your county.
How Long Does It Take to Get Divorced in Maine
Maine law specifies that both spouses should wait 60 days from the date of filing the Petition for the Divorce until the Final Decree will be granted. This term is required for the Uncontested Divorce. The Contested one can last a year or even more.
Papers and Documents You Need to Get a Divorce in Maine
The preparation of the documents is the most important issue in the whole divorce process. The couple should pay the immense concentration to this procedure, taking into the accountall the tiny detail. Here are the main papers expected in Maine:
- FM-002 Confidential Family Matter Summary Sheet
- CV/CR/FM/ PC-200 Social Security Number Disclosure Form
- FM-004 Complaint about Divorce (with children)
- CV-036 Acknowledgment of Receipt of Summons and Complaint or Post-Judgment Motion
- FM-050 Child Support Affidavit (Self-calculating .pdf version requires Adobe 4.0 or higher)
- FM-038 Family Matter Summons and Preliminary Injunction
- FM-040-S Child Support Worksheet
- CV-035 Witness Subpoena
- CV-021 Entry of Appearance (for lawyers) 7/00
- CV-037 Subpoena about Hearing on Motion for Contempt 6/14
- FM-004 Complaint about Divorce (with children) 06/16
- FM-005 Complaint about Divorce (no minor children) 4/14
- FM-006 Complaint about Determination of Paternity; Parental Rights & - Responsibilities, Child Support 06/16
- FM-008 Petition for Expedited Enforcement of Child Custody Determination (UCCJEA) 4/14
- FM-020 Entry of Appearance (for self-represented) 4/14
- CV-021 Entry of Appearance (for lawyers) 7/00
- FM-040-S Child Support Worksheet 8/16
- FM-043 Financial Statement 10/10
- FM-042 Certificate In Lieu of Financial Statement 4/14
- CV-041 Statement Concerning Public Assistance 10/01
- FM-050 Child Support Affidavit 4/14
- FM-052 Federal Affidavit 4/14
- FM-054 Certificate in Lieu of Case Management Conference 4/14
- FM-055 Verification of Diligent Job Search 4/14
- FM-056 Certificate Regarding Real Estate 4/14
- FM-057 Affidavit for Confidential Address 4/14
- FM-058 Affidavit and Request for Registration of a Foreign Order 4/14
- FM-062 Motion to Modify 6/14
- FM-064 Petition for Emancipation 4/14
- FM-065 Request for Appointment of Counsel for Emancipation Petition 4/14
- CV-067 Application to Proceed Without Payment of Fees 3/13
- FM-068 Motion for Contempt 4/14
- FM-070 Motion to Enforce 4/14
- FM-071 Objection to Final Order of Magistrate 4/14
- CV-072 Motion for Service by Alternative Means and Affidavit 4/13
- FM-080 Divorce with Children: What to do with these Court Forms 8/09 (not a form)
- FM-081 Divorce without Children: What To Do With These Court Forms 1/10 (not a form)
- FM-082 Parental Rights & Responsibilities Case: What To Do With These Court Forms 7/16 (not a form)
- FM-084 Child Support Table 7/16 (not a form)
- FM-087 Important Information Regarding Case Management Conference 7/16 (not a form)
- FM-088 Motion to Modify: What To Do With These Court Forms 8/09 (not a form)
- FM-089 Motion to Enforce: What To Do With These Court Forms 8/09 (not a form)
- FM-090 Motion for Contempt: What To Do With These Court Forms 8/09 (not a form)
- CV-092 How To File A Civil Appeal 1/15 (not a form)
- FM-093 Foreign Judgments: What to do with these court forms 12/6 (not a form)
- FM-108 Important Notice About Mediation 1/05 (not a form)
- FM-109 Notice of Registration of Foreign Order 12/00
- FM-125 Order Appointing Guardian ad Litem 11/17
- FM-132 Child Support Order 7/16
- OMB 0970-0154 Income Withholding for Support
All these forms and papers are vital for the Superior Court of the State of Maine, but it is not a fact that you will need all of them. Your case might not include some papers, especially an Uncontested one. Check the required documents for your venture in advance.
How to serve your spouse in Maine
As a Petitioner, you must serve your spouse, a Defendant, with all the wanted documents and forms. You can do it both by yourself or by means of the Sheriff service. You also can use the Certified email or the post. All these means are equal in their validity, and the court will check whether you provided your spouse with the needed documents or not. You should serve your spouse within 31 days after the signing the Petition for the Divorce, so do not miss a deadline and prepare the documents thoroughly.
Online Divorce in Maine
The Online Divorce implicates that all your papers and forms are prepared online, without the help of the attorney. It keeps your time and money a lot and makes the procedure much quicker. The Online Divorce procedure comprises such aspects as:
- Discerning what type of the divorce you will have in the court
- Ordering crucial documents and forms to file with the court
- Handling a reasonable price $149 for the ready papers
- Waiting about for 1-2 days until the documents are done
- Downloading the forms from your email in PDF-format and go to the Superior Court.
The Online Divorce is reaching a popularity despite all the troubles and misunderstandings from the attorneys’ side. If you want to save your resolutions with the documentation significantly-you should undertake such type of the divorce.
Rules for child support in Maine
For the divorce process, all the things are basic, but the most meaningful one is the child custody. We can admit, that parents do not draw attention to this process because they are too busy. As a consequence, the spouses have nervous and even disruptive children, who can have big problems with the socialization in common. In order to omit such an event, we can tell you the main rules for the child support. Both spouses have absolutely equal rights for the child visitation if the Superior Court is not against the child visitation. The Physical Custody introduces the following items as:
- A joint custody - both parents take care of the child
- An individual custody - only one parent takes care of the child and supports him/her financially. According to Maine law, the joint income of the parents is calculated by the court, and the following percentage of the total spousal sum of money is put on the needs of the child. The child visitation is also a vague question, according to the Maine rules. The parents take care of the child together, but children can choose a parent they want to live with if they are more than 14 years old. Another parent should visit the children regarding the timetable, put down by the Superior Court. The spouses can share the physical custody not only according to the 50/50 agreement but also they can share the time, according to their abilities.
Rules for spousal support in Maine
In case the spouses agree on all the items, the spousal support (the alimony) of one of the spouses is also included in the Uncontested case. In the State of Maine, the Superior Court deals with numerous questions regarding the spousal support. Here they are:
- The total income of both spouses
- The marriage term of the couple
- The place of children living, who they live with
- The tax rate of both spouses
- The health state of both spouses
- The future financial viewpoints of both spouses
All the items above play an important role in the Final Verdict, but the Superior Court also reviews the future financial state of each spouse to arrange the sum of money given monthly to one of the spouses.
Division of property in Maine
The property division is known as the most topical question ever. According to Section (953)(1) of the Maine Revised Statutes, the Superior Court makes a choice of the property division according to the different factors, like:
- The contribution of each spouse to the common marital property
- The value of the common marital property
- The current financial circumstances of each spouse
As you know, there are two types of the property:
- The marital property
- The individual property
The marital property should be divided, but the individual one belongs only to one of the spouses and cannot be shared. There is a number of the property that is highly individual:
- The property that is considered to be a gift
- The property that was bought a long period before the marriage by one of the spouses
- The property belonged to one of the spouses after a Divorce Decree
The Superior Court tries to put together all the details to make a common decision about the property division if the Uncontested Divorce takes place.
Divorce Mediation in Maine
The Divorce Mediation is a process that provides a couple with an opportunity to meet an agreement. The spouses can have a lawyer and negotiate together in the courtroom on uncertain questions. The lawyers represent the rights of each spouse and also negotiate with each other. In Maine, the Superior Court arranges a Mediation process in any case, if the spouses’ divorce is a Contested one.
How to divorce a missing spouse in Maine
In Maine, if one of the spouses is missed, another one claims for the constant search followed by Service by Publication. The Publication can be made only once in several counties, and in this Publication you put the photo of your missed spouse and tell that this person is missed. The people who have watched him/her will definitely reply you. You also can use the help of his/her relatives, co-workers and other people who might perceive any information concerning your missing spouse. The Superior Court will help you with finding your missed spouse, but only if you fulfill a self-search beforehand, for instance, to search for the phone number of the missed spouse or call the police. All in all, if your missed spouse is still not detected in some period of time, the Superior Court will allow getting a divorce without him/her.
The Default Divorce in Maine
If you are the Petitioner and you are willing to get a divorce from the Defendant, your duty will be to supply him/her with all the papers for the divorce process. If your spouse does not respond to your Petition, such a case is called a Default Divorce. If your divorce is Default, you don’t need to impart the information about your financial state or any other kind of data to the Superior Court. The main idea of the Default Divorce is to adjust the required documents to file with the court. If all your actions are right, you will take the Final Decree in time, and you will not need the confirmation of your spouse to divorce.
Default vs No-Fault Divorce in Maine
To be impartial, a No-Fault (Uncontested) Divorce is considerably easier than a Default one because it is faster, clearer and more economical. The Contested one has its unique features that are different, according to the individual case. If your spouse lives in Maine, there are 20 days from the date of a Petition signing to serve your spouse with all the documents for the divorce. If you are not ready with the papers or your spouse fails to sign them-the case is automatically considered to be a Default one.
How can I get a Default Divorce Hearing in Maine?
To have the Default Divorce hearing in the State of Maine, you need to inform your spouse about your forthcoming plans to divorce him/her. You need to send him/her the forms to file with the divorce. The Defendant will likely receive the documents and reject them. After that, the Superior Court will schedule the Default Hearing without your spouse.
Annulment of the marriage in Maine
The annulment of the marriage is a complicated operation in Maine. There are scarce grounds for the annulment of the marriage that seem to be unusual in such a process:
- One of the spouses couldn’t recognize what the legal marriage was
- One of the spouses was under 18 years old at the marriage registration
- Both spouses are blood relatives
- One of the spouses has another legal marriage
- The marriage is a fraud
The annulment of the marriage recognizes the legal marriage to be not only dismissed but also treats that the marriage has never existed earlier. The child custody and the common debts should be disputed in the Superior Court, according to the legislation of the State of Maine.
Legal Separation in Maine
The Legal Separation is a standard settlement in Maine. The spouses ask for it when they want to live independently but are not ready to complete their marriage properly. In general, in Maine, there is a year for the spouses to live in the legal separation and decide what to do further. The spouses cannot live officially with anybody else in their common house/flat till their marriage is legally perfected. If one of the spouses breaks this law, another spouse can maintain that it is an adultery towards him/her, and inevitable divorce will be a Contested one.
The Same-Sex Divorce in Maine
In Maine, the same-sex couples are allowed to get married or divorced legally. The domestic partnership is also deemed to be legal and will be likely claimed to have the same rights as an official marriage. For the same-sex couples, the rules of the marriage termination are the same. Single-gender spouses must meet the residency requirements as well as all other citizens of the State of Maine.
Military Divorce in Maine
To divorce a military spouse in Maine, you had better notify him/her about the divorce process in advance and serve him/her all the documents for the future divorce process.You had better serve your spouse with the documents with the help of the Sheriff. You should ask the commander of your military spouse about his/her current location. If the circumstances are agreeable, the spouse will definitely answer. All other actions are similar to those ones, described above. It can happen that your spouse may be unable to answer you directly due to the military activity, so the Superior Court will continue the serving period until your spouse is able to get them.
How to divorce a spouse in a jail in Maine
To divorce a spouse who is currently in a jail, you need to follow the same rules as for any other divorce process. The serving process, the waiting period, the mediation procedure, etc have the similar structure as well. One detail is that the case of your spouse in a jail can be either severe or light. The Superior Court will draw into account such a detail and make its verdict fairly.
Divorce filing fee
In Maine, if you are willing to get an Uncontested Divorce, you have to pay approximately $440 for all the court fees. In case you would like to order the preparation of the documents for the court online, you will pay less and save a big chunk of money.
Can a filing fee be waived?
In Maine, the fee for the divorce is waived if it’s relevant. The spouse who would like to ask for the waiver of the fee, should provide the Superior Court with all the necessary documents of his/her financial state that will definitely prove you truly need such a thing as a fee waiver. The Superior Court will approve or reject your Petition for the fee waiver.
How we can help
The divorce has always been a serious and complex deal for both spouses. We understand that the whole process will make you feel upset and frustrated, but we can help you with one of the most important item-the preparation of the documents online. We will explain to you, how to deal with them and what exactly papers you need for the court filing. Call us, and we will prepare your documents in one day. The lawyers recommend us as a profoundly professional team, and it is the truth. Order your forms right now and determine yourself!
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