MAINE DIVORCE LAWS:
The Residency Requirement: The party filing the divorce must have lived in Maine for six months prior to filing the complaint.
Grounds: No fault - Irreconcilable differences ; Fault: Adultery; Impotence; Extreme cruelty; Utter desertion for at least three years; Habitual drug or alcohol use; 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; Cruel and abusive behavior; Mental illness requiring medical attention for at least seven years.
Property Division: Equitable distribution of property based on a dual-classification of property. That means property is classified as either separate or marital; separate property must go to the property owner, while marital property is divided between the parties “equitably.” Equitable means fairly, based on how the parties acquired and treated the property during the marriage; it does not mean equally. The factors the court considers include:
- The contribution of reach spouse to the acquisition of marital property, including homemaker efforts;
- The value of each spouse’s separate property;
- The economic circumstances of each spouse.
(click the following for an expert's overview and key tips on dividing up property through divorce).
Alimony: The court can award alimony to either party. Maine considers five kinds of alimony:
- General support, not usually awarded if the marriage has lasted less than 10 years. General support will usually not last longer than one-half the length of the marriage.
- Transitional support, helping with short-term needs, including vocational training and education.
- Reimbursement support, to achieve an equitable result because of economic misconduct by a spouse or substantial contributions made by one spouse to the education and training of the other.
- Nominal support, just as it sounds, nominal, to preserve the court’s right to grant further support in the future.
- Interim support, offered during separation and the time leading up to the final divorce decree.
Child Custody and Child Support: In any divorce involving the custody of minor children, the court may order an investigation of the parents, their home, and the children. As in all states, the court will award child custody based on “the best interests of the child.” When the parties have agreed to shared parental rights and responsibilities, the court will make such an award unless there is substantial evidence that it should not be ordered. (click the following for an overview and list of articles on child custody and child support).
Maine child-support guidelines use an income-shares model: the total obligation is divided between the mother and father according to their incomes. The guidelines also take into consideration the ages of the children.
For a combined gross annual income of:
- $24,000, support for one child per week is $81; for two children per week per child, $58; for three children per week per child, $46.
- $60,000, support for one child per week per child is $154; for two children per week per child, $111; for three children per week per child, $87.
- $120,000, support for one child per week is $238; for two children per week per child, $171; for three children per week per child, $134.
Disclaimer: The information supplied above is for "educational purposes only" and is not intended to be used as legal advice.