Maine Divorce Steps

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Maine is a state in the United States where population occupies only around 10% area of the land. Still, there are separate divorce laws for this state which put residency conditions of six months on a petitioner. Also, the other condition is that the partner must be a resident of state and their marriage should have been happened within the boundaries of Maine. The accepted grounds for divorce ranged from simple differences to cruel behavior and mental incapacity of the partner. Maine divorce steps can be elaborated as below:

Maine Divorce Steps regarding filing and service

  • The Plaintiff must approach the local District Court and provide self information to the court clerk. The court clerk will deliver the appropriate forms packet

  • It is essential to pay the court fees at this juncture. However, if the Plaintiff cannot pay the fees, he or she must demand the following forms

  • Application to proceed without payment of fees (Fee Waiver Form)

  • Indigence Affidavit

  • The next step is to fill all the forms and maintain a second copy of all these forms in a file

  • Then, the Plaintiff must serve the documents to the Defendant by certified mail service. However, if the green postal card is not signed this means that either the Defendant refused to sign it or the mail was not delivered

  • Another method is to serve the papers by regular mail and file the green card and an affidavit that mentions how the papers were served, with the court clerk

  • If the above mentioned mail methods are unsuccessful, the Plaintiff must request the Sheriff to perform the service

  • If the Plaintiff has executed all the essential attempts but cannot locate the Defendant, then it is necessary to try "Service by Publication". If the Plaintiff cannot pay for this service, he or she may request for a fee waiver

Maine Divorce Steps regarding Magistrate Conference

  • Approximately, two weeks after the Plaintiff files and serves the court papers, the court dispatches a notice to both partners. This notice is regarding the schedule of a Case Management Conference

  • Along with this Notice, the court dispatches the following forms to the Defendant if the court has not heard from the Defendant or the Defendant's lawyer
    • Child Support Affidavit
    • Entry of Appearance

  • The Family Law Magistrate conducts this conference. The various intentions of this conference are as follows
    • To determine if any domestic violence has occurred in the past
    • To assist the divorcing parties in reaching an agreement particularly about issues related to the children like child support and visitation
    • To locate those issues regarding which the partners have failed to reach an agreement
    • To issue a written order that mentions the topics regarding which an agreement has been reached, The topics regarding which an agreement has not been reached and a schedule of the next steps

Divorce Steps about Mediation

The intention of mediation is that the divorcing partners must reach an agreement regarding maximum number of issues. From the view of the court, the topic with first priority is that of children. So, the mediator props up the following topics on a priority basis.

  • How do the parents aim to share parental responsibilities and rights?
  • At what address the children would stay?
  • What will be the visiting schedule of the children with the other parent?
  • What will be the amount of child support?
  • How to plan coverage of the health care of the children?
  • Who is supposed to handle housing costs?

When the above topics have been discussed and there is time remaining, then, the mediator props up topics like division of marital property and division of payment of debts. A mediator acts as a third party and he is not allowed to represent any of the parties in the court as a lawyer. Mediation process is suggested by the court to cut the cost of divorce and save the time and energy involved. It is essential to note that mediation can end in the regular dissolution if the matters are insolvable.

The divorce steps in Maine for contested divorce are mentioned below. If the parties concerned with divorce reach to a mutual agreement on their own, then it would be a simpler procedure. The partners will have to submit agreement containing solutions on the issues and signed by both of them. After the Judge approves such settlement, divorce is granted.

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