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Divorce is the legal process of ending a marriage. Divorce can be a very difficult and emotional process, especially when children are involved.
If you and your child’s other parent are not married and you want to establish each of your individual parental rights and responsibilities, you should file a Parental Rights & Responsibilities complaint (see Parental Rights & Responsibilities Cases), not a divorce complaint.
You can file for divorce in Maine if:
- You are married and have lived in Maine for 6 months or longer; or
- You are a Maine resident and were married in Maine; or
- You are a Maine resident and were living in Maine when the cause of divorce arose; or
- Your spouse is a Maine resident.
A divorce when minor children are involved is very different from a divorce that does not involve children. In either case, Maine law requires a minimum 60-day waiting period between the filing of all the necessary divorce paperwork and the final hearing. Your case may take longer than 60 days, especially if you and your spouse do not agree on all issues.
- Dividing Assets and Debts in Divorce;
- Spousal Support (Alimony);
- Child Support;
- Decisions about Children; and
- Parent Education Programs.
Do I need a lawyer?
Many people do not hire lawyers when getting divorced. However, if you are able, you may want to talk to a lawyer about the divorce process. See the Legal Help page for more information.
This is especially important if:
- You and your spouse disagree about decisions affecting your children;
- You and your spouse have complicated property, financial, or real estate issues; or
- There is a history or threat of domestic violence in the household.
For more information on the procedural steps, court forms you will need, and how your case will proceed through the court, see the Court Process in a Family Matters Case page.