When seeking a divorce in Maine, it is first important to know if you actually have grounds for a divorce. These can include but are not limited to adultery, cruelty, impotence, desertion and mental illness. Either partner in the marriage may file for divorce if they meet the jurisdictional requirements for a divorce in the state. This means that the person filing for the divorce or the other party in the marriage must be a resident of Maine for at least six months.
When seeking a divorce in Maine, a complaint for divorce can be filed in either the Maine District Court or the Maine Superior Court. If you file for a Maine divorce in the District Court, you should file in the district where you or your spouse currently lives. When filing in Superior Court, it should be in the county where you or your spouse resides.
It takes at least 60 days from the date that a defendant is served with a summons before a Maine divorce hearing can take place. The actual time involved in the entire process for a divorce in Maine will depend on whether you and your spouse can agree on all the issues involved. If one or both parties disagree on a settlement, then the case will be scheduled for a court hearing; and this can prove to be a lengthy process. A divorce court will settle the issues of real estate and personal property division, parental rights where minor children are involved, alimony, and any requested name changes and attorney fees. Of course not all of these issues will apply to all Maine divorce cases.
When getting a divorce in Maine, you are allowed to represent yourself in court, but if you are not familiar with the law, aren’t sure of your rights, or if you are facing a contested divorce, then it would definitely be in your best interest to work with an attorney. It is never advisable to try to cut corners in order to save money when it comes to a divorce. In the end it may cost you more than anything you might have saved by trying to avoid attorney fees. Plus where a division of assets is involved, the judgment is final and you can not go back and ask for the judge to reverse a decision.