MAINE DIVORCE MADE EASY. DOCUMENTS DONE RIGHT!
MAINE 3STEPDIVORCE TM - KEEPING YOUR UNCONTESTED DIVORCE SIMPLE
|This easy to use online divorce is a "do it yourself (without a lawyer)" solution for any uncontested divorce (with or without children) that will be filed in the state of Maine. An uncontested divorce is one in which you and your spouse are in agreement and eliminates the stress and expense of settling your divorce in court.
With 3StepDivorce TM you can complete and print your Maine divorce forms (including a marital settlement agreement) instantly. Then, follow our step-by-step filing procedures to file your own divorce in Maine in a timely, professional, and hassle free fashion. The online software is designed to give you full control of your divorce and also avoids the use of third party data entry, thus helping protect your personal information and privacy.
Online Divorce FAQ: Maine
Filing for divorce can seem overwhelming. Like starting almost any other legal proceeding, it takes finding the right forms, filling out the forms properly, and understanding the court’s requirements for the next steps you’ll need to take.
Traditionally, most people have hired a lawyer to take care of all the legal matters in their divorce. But more and more couples are turning to a much cheaper option that’s still easier than figuring out everything on their own: filing for divorce online.
If you want to know more, read on for answers to some of the most common questions about online divorce in Maine.
- How Does Online Divorce Work in Maine?
- Can I File for Divorce in Maine?
- What Are the Residency Requirements for Divorce in Maine?
- What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Maine?
- Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Divorce in Maine?
- Can I Use Maine 3StepDivorce™ in My Situation?
- What If My Spouse and I Can’t Agree on the Issues in Our Divorce?
- Can I Get an Online Divorce in Maine If I Have Children?
- How Will My Online Divorce in Maine Deal With Child Support?
- Will We Be Able to Change the Amount of Child Support After Divorce?
- How Will Online Divorce Handle Property and Debts From Our Marriage?
- What About the Family Home?
- What About Retirement Accounts?
- Can I Get Alimony With an Online Divorce in Maine?
- How Do I File My Divorce Papers in Maine?
- How Much Is Maine’s Filing Fee for Divorce?
- What If I Can’t Afford to Pay the Divorce Filing Fee?
- How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Maine?
- How Can I Get More Help With Maine Online Divorce?
How Does Online Divorce Work in Maine?
Maine 3StepDivorce™ takes care of the divorce paperwork for you. Once you sign up for the service, you’ll answer some questions about your situation. Based on your responses to the questionnaire, Maine 3StepDivorce™ will fill out the forms the state requires to start the divorce process, along with instructions for adding any further information that’s needed. You’ll be able to print out the forms yourself immediately or, if you prefer, get hard copies by mail.
UPDATE: 3StepDivorce™ for Maine isn’t available right now, while we update our forms and services for Maine. Check back soon at 3StepDivorce.com for current availability. In the meantime, you may be able to get divorce forms on Maine Judicial Branch's website or from the court clerk’s office in your district, and the information below can answer your questions about getting an uncontested divorce in Maine.
Can I File for Divorce in Maine?
Maine has two basic requirements to file for divorce in the state: a residency requirement, and a legally recognized reason (“grounds”) for ending your marriage.
What Are the Residency Requirements for Divorce in Maine?
To get a divorce in Maine, one of the following must apply:
- the plaintiff (the filing spouse) has lived in Maine for at least six months immediately before filing
- the plaintiff lives in Maine and the spouses were married in Maine
- the plaintiff lives in Maine and the spouses lived in Maine when the events that caused their marriage to fail occurred, or
- the defendant (the non-filing spouse) lives in Maine.
(Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 19-A, § 901(1) (2022).)
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Maine?
Maine allows both “no-fault” and “fault-based” divorces. A no-fault divorce is one in which the court doesn’t require either spouse to prove that the other committed the bad act that caused the marriage to end. In a fault-based divorce, one or both of the spouses must show that the other’s actions caused the marriage to fail.
Most divorcing couples in Maine choose to file a no-fault divorce. No-fault divorces reach resolution faster than fault-based because the spouses don’t have to argue about or prove who was responsible for the divorce. To get a no-fault divorce in Maine, you simply must state in your divorce complaint that you and your spouse are experiencing “irreconcilable marital differences.” (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 19-A, § 902(1)(H) (2022).)
Maine also has many fault-based grounds for divorce, such as adultery, extreme cruelty, and habitual drug and alcohol use. (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 19-A, § 902 (2022).) Fault-based divorces are often more contentious, more expensive, and take longer to complete than no-fault divorces, so most people who file a fault-based divorce in Maine hire a lawyer.
Maine 3StepDivorce™ will provide services only for couples who are getting divorced based on irreconcilable marital differences.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Divorce in Maine?
Many Maine residents are finding that they can file for divorce and get through the process without the expense of hiring a lawyer if they’re filing for an “uncontested divorce” in the state. That means that they’ve agreed with each other about all of the legal issues in their divorce, including:
- how to divide their property and debts
- alimony, and
- child custody, visitation, and child support (if they have minor children).
If you still have disagreements with your spouse about these or any other issues involved in ending your marriage, you’ll have to file for a traditional, contested divorce. Because that will involve legal battles and presenting evidence and arguments at court hearings, it would be risky to pursue a contested divorce without a lawyer to navigate the process for you—especially if your spouse has an attorney.
Can I Use Maine 3StepDivorce™ in My Situation?
Once it’s available in your state, you may use Maine 3StepDivorce™ as long as you have an uncontested divorce and meet the state’s residency requirement. You’ll need to have a written marital settlement agreement, signed by both you and your spouse, that covers all of the issues in your divorce. Maine 3StepDivorce™ will guide you through the process of creating this agreement, based on your answers to the questionnaire.
Maine 3StepDivorce™ can also help if you aren’t ready to file for divorce, but you want a separation agreement with your spouse. For instance, you might want to work out arrangements for support, custody of your children, who has to move out of the family home, and how to take care of the bills while you’re separated but still legally married.
What If My Spouse and I Can’t Agree on the Issues in Our Divorce?
Just because you haven’t been able to agree with your spouse about everything in your divorce, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go through an expensive and time-consuming contested divorce. You could try divorce mediation. If you’re able to resolve your disagreements with the mediator’s help, you can then use Maine 3StepDivorce™ to prepare the written settlement agreement, along with the other divorce paperwork.
Can I Get an Online Divorce in Maine If I Have Children?
Generally, you will be able to use Maine 3StepDivorce™ even when you have minor children with your spouse, as long as you agree on all of the issues related to your kids, including legal and physical custody, a parenting (visitation) schedule, child support, health and dental insurance, and tax deductions. Maine 3StepDivorce™ will allow you to address these issues in your settlement agreement. We provide a standard parenting schedule, but you’ll have an option of customizing the schedule to meet your individual needs.
However, you won’t be able to address custody-related issues in your online divorce in Maine if the affected child or children don’t meet the “home state” requirement. Usually, that means the child must have lived in Maine with a parent (or a parent figure) during the entire six-month period before you file for divorce (or since birth if the child is younger than six months old). (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 19-A, § 1745 (2022).) If you don’t meet the six-month rule, you should speak with an attorney to find out whether you might qualify for one of the complicated exceptions to this rule.
How Will My Online Divorce in Maine Deal With Child Support?
In Maine, both parents have an obligation to support their children. And like all states, Maine has child support guidelines for calculating how much support the parents should pay, based largely on their incomes and custody arrangements.
3StepDivorce™ will provide the Maine Child Support Guideline Worksheets, so you can easily calculate the state's guideline level of support. You and your spouse may agree to an amount of child support that differs from the guideline amount, but the judge will need to review and approve your agreement. Maine law requires that any time the amount of child support deviates from the guideline, the judge must find that applying the guideline would be “unjust or inappropriate” under the circumstances.
In your settlement agreement, you and your spouse may include child support provisions that aren’t legally required, such as a parent’s contributions to private school tuition or the cost of a child’s college education. You may also agree on some specific questions like which parent will claim the children as dependents on tax returns.
Will We Be Able to Change the Amount of Child Support After Divorce?
After your divorce in Maine is final, you (or your spouse) may request a change in the amount of child support, but you’ll need to show that your circumstances have changed significantly. The judge will review your request based on the same legal requirements for an original child support order.
If you want to save the time and expense of a court battle over a request to modify child support, you and your spouse may agree to a modification on your own. As a general rule, you’ll need to submit your agreement to a judge or child support agency.
To modify your child support order in Maine, three years need to have passed since the child support order was issued. Alternatively, you can request a change earlier if you can show that there has been a “substantial change in circumstances” that warrants adjusting the amount of support. To make a request, you’ll need to file a Motion to Modify with the court. You can find details about and instructions on how to file a Motion to Modify on Pine Tree Legal Assistance’s website.
How Will Online Divorce Handle Property and Debts From Our Marriage?
When you fill out your questionnaire for Maine 3StepDivorce™, you’ll answer a series of questions about your separate and marital property and debts, including how you’ll divide your marital property and allocate responsibility for payment of the marital debts.
What About the Family Home?
If you own a home with your spouse, your agreement can spell out what will happen to it when you get divorced. Here again, the questionnaire will include a few questions about the property and how you’ve chosen to deal with it, such as:
- selling the house and splitting the proceeds
- transferring ownership to one spouse, with the other spouse receiving money or other assets in exchange for that spouse’s share, or
- continuing to own the property together while allowing one spouse to stay in the house for a period of time (and, if so, how you’ll handle paying the mortgage and other ongoing costs).
What About Retirement Accounts?
In your Maine 3StepDivorce™, you may also agree on whether and how you’ll divide any retirement accounts that you and your spouse have, including 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and defined-benefit pensions.
If you started contributing to the retirement plan before you were married, you’ll start by figuring out how much of its current value is marital property and how much is your separate property. There are experts and firms that will do this for you (for a fee, of course). The service is usually known as a pension appraisal or valuation. You’ll almost always need this kind of expert help when you’re dealing with a defined-benefit pension.
Once you know the marital value of your work-related retirement accounts, the easiest way to handle the division of the assets is not to split them but to transfer other assets as an offset. Here’s how that works: Say you have a 401(k) through your job, and the marital portion of the account is worth $100,000. If you and your spouse agree to divide that portion down the middle, and you have other marital assets to divide (such as a regular savings account), your spouse could receive an extra $50,000 from those assets while you keep the entire 401(k). That way, you don’t have to hire another expert to prepare the kind of special order that’s needed to tell the 401(k) administrator how to divide the account.
The rules are different for IRAs. You may simply agree to have your spouse’s share transferred to another IRA account in that spouse’s name. (You’ll have to submit a special form to the bank, along with a copy of your divorce decree.)
Can I Get Alimony With an Online Divorce in Maine?
You and your spouse may waive any right to alimony in your Maine divorce, or you may agree on the specifics of alimony payments: who will pay, how much, and for how long. Your agreement may also state whether a court could modify alimony at any time in the future, and it could cover related issues like health insurance and life insurance.
How Do I File My Divorce Papers in Maine?
When you get your completed forms with Maine 3StepDivorce™, your next step will be to file your paperwork in the district court division where either spouse lives. (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 4, § 155(3) (2022).) You’ll need to look up what division is appropriate–use the Maine Judicial Branch’s tool for looking up a court based on your town to find the right court.
How Much Is Maine’s Filing Fee for Divorce?
When you file your divorce, you’ll need to pay a $120 filing fee.
What If I Can’t Afford to Pay the Divorce Filing Fee?
If you can’t afford to pay the Maine divorce filing fee, you can file an Application to Proceed Without Fee (CV-067) with the court. (See Step 4 here for a link to the form; Maine 3StepDivorce™ will also provide this form.) If the court grants your application, you won’t have to pay any court costs or fees.
How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Maine?
Maine courts can’t issue a divorce decree until after a final hearing. (Me. R. Civ. P. 115 (2022).) A final hearing can’t take place until at least 60 days have passed since the divorce complaint was served. (Me. R. Civ. P. 113 (2022).) Whether the court can schedule your final hearing immediately after the 60 days has passed depends on the court’s schedule, so your uncontested divorce could take longer than 60 days to finalize.
How Can I Get More Help With Maine Online Divorce?
Maine 3StepDivorce™ provides unlimited, live, person-to-person support for customers. If you have any questions about how uncontested divorce works, call our Maine Divorce Online Help Center at (888) 665-6782 (toll free), Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm (Pacific Time).
Please keep in mind that we are not lawyers and so cannot give out legal advice. If you have questions about Maine law or need legal advice, we recommend that you contact an experienced family law attorney in your area.