Maine Divorce Procedures

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Amidst the 21st century, when technological developments are aiming to make life easy and fast, a lot of social evils are transforming this phase of life, making it somewhat ugly and undesirable. Although divorce cannot be termed as a 'social evil,' it is undoubtedly a major social issue. It is a legal affair which breaks the marital bond, thereby ending the marriage. This has become a common phenomenon in USA, where different states have formed their own statutes pertaining to divorce. To avoid confusion and chaos, all fifty states in the United States follow their own rules and laws. Maine is not an exception. Maine divorce procedures are laid down by the state laws to resolve marital discords and provide fair solution.

A lot of divorce cases are registered in the courts in Maine, every year, and these cases are not similar in nature, as a result of which the divorce procedures also vary. As such, it is not possible to incorporate all the processes in the article; however, some important divorce procedures are elaborated below:

It is essential that you file a complaint for divorce in the Maine District Court or the Maine Superior Court. In either case, the court should be located in the judicial district, where at least one of the divorcing partners resides.

According to Maine Revised Statutes-Title 19-A- Section 901, a spouse may file for a divorce in the District Court if:

  1. he/ she has lived in this state for a period of 6 months before the commencement of the action
  2. the plaintiff lives in this state and the couple got married in this state
  3. the plaintiff lives in this state and the cause of divorce happened in this state
  4. the defendant, that is the party against whom the case has been filed, is a resident of this state

One should know all the legal requirements and processes before proceeding with a divorce case.

Preliminary Injunction in Maine Divorce Procedures

Identical to most of the divorce procedures, the divorce procedure in this state starts with the filing and service of Complaint and Summons. The difference being that in Maine, a preliminary injunction is mandatory at the commencement of the divorce action. This injunction is a court order that restricts the divorcing partners from transfer or sale of property. The intention behind this injunction is to serve as a protection for both divorcing partners, as a result of which there is a sort of bond created between the divorcing partners. In most cases, it is essential that the preliminary injunction, summons and complaint, are personally served to the Respondent.

Highlights of Maine Divorce Procedures

If the Defendant signs the acceptance of service and this is submitted to the court, it can be said that the Defendant has accepted the service. If the service is done by the Defendant, then it can be done in person or by mail. However, if the Sheriff does the service, then it is the responsibility of the Sheriff to report to the court that the documents have been personally served. In this case, there is no necessity of any signature of the Defendant.

The Complaint consists of the following data.

  • Grounds of divorce
  • Fundamental information about the marriage and any children resulted due to the marriage

The Defendant is allotted 20 days to make an appearance in the court or file a written answer in the court. Along with the answer, the Defendant has to right to append a counterclaim. The counterclaim can be considered as a complaint for divorce filed the Defendant.

If the divorce case involves children then in the first month of the case, the divorcing partners have to arrange a meeting with the CMO (Case Management Officer), in order to ensure that a Temporary Order has been set. If the divorcing partners agree with each other regarding the Order, then the order is set at the first conference. In case there is disagreement between the partners, a hearing date is planned. Moreover, if a hearing is inevitable, then the divorce partners must remain present during mediation.

The marital affairs of the divorcing partners till the culmination of the divorce are decided by the temporary court order. This order deals with the following points.

  • Responsibilities of the lawyer's fees
  • Responsibilities for children under the age of 18 and parental rights
  • Alimony
  • Temporary Support
  • Responsibility of debts and marital bills
  • Use of marital home

To avoid any dire consequences, it is advisable that you know every detail of your case that may create fuss during the trial sessions. Read these Maine divorce procedures, justify the complexities of your case, and plan your course of action accordingly.

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