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Maine Divorce Laws

It's a fact of life that not all marriages will work out. All states have certain legal requirements you must meet before you can obtain a divorce. However, the specifics vary from state to state. This article provides a brief overview of divorce laws in the state of Maine.

Divorce with Children

When a married couple gets divorced with children from the marriage, child custody and support will keep the case involved with the family court until the kids are no longer eligible to receive child support. To learn more, see the Maine Child Custody article.

Maine Divorce Laws: The Basics

No matter where you divorce, there are some legal requirements you must meet before you can start and finalize a divorce.

The table below outlines the basics of Maine's divorce laws.

Code Sections

Maine Code Revised Title 19-A, Chapter 29: Divorce

Residency Requirements

The plaintiff and/or defendant must reside in Maine, have been married there, or resided there when they separated or the cause for the divorce occurred. The plaintiff must have resided in Maine in good faith for at least 6 months prior to the action.

Waiting Period

The court can make the divorce final immediately, but otherwise, it is subject to an appeal period.

'No-Fault' Grounds for Divorce

Irreconcilable differences

Other Grounds for Divorce

The fault-based grounds for divorce in Maine are:
  • Adultery
  • Cruelty or abusive treatment
  • Desertion for 3 consecutive years
  • Drug and/or alcohol addiction
  • Impotence
  • Non-Support or having the ability to provide for the other spouse, but refusing to provide for him or her
  • Incapacity of one spouse has been legally determined by a court

Defenses to a Divorce Filing

Recrimination, when the complaining spouse is also at fault (such as both had adulterous affairs) is a comparative, but not an absolute defense. At the court's discretion condonation, or that the spouse forgave the faulty behavior, could be a defense. It's not an absolute defense.

Out-of-State Divorces

You can't go to another state to get a divorce that wouldn't be granted in Maine solely to get that type of divorce or it won't be recognized in Maine. However, any other valid divorce is valid in Maine, such as you were a resident of the other state first and married there so divorced there or the divorce would be valid in either state.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

Maine Divorce Laws: Related Resources

Learn How Maine Divorce Laws Affect Your Case: Speak with an Attorney

There are a lot of moving parts to a divorce, especially if there are child custody matters to sort out. And on top of it all, it's usually quite an emotionally difficult time for all parties involved. The best way to protect your interests and ensure the best possible outcome is to work with a divorce lawyer.

Get started today by discussing your situation with an experienced divorce attorney in Maine.

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Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • Divorces are tough and a lawyer can seek the best outcome
  • A lawyer can help protect your children's interests
  • Divorce lawyers can secure alimony, visitation rights, and property division

Get tailored divorce advice and ask a lawyer questions. Many attorneys offer free consultations.


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