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Legal Information: Maine

Maine Divorce

Updated: 
January 30, 2019

What are the residency requirements for divorce in Maine?

A judge can grant you a divorce in Maine if:

  • you have lived in Maine for six months before filing for divorce;
  • you are a resident of Maine and you and your spouse were married in Maine;
  • you are a resident of Maine and you and your spouse lived in Maine when the cause of your divorce happened; or
  • your spouse is a resident of Maine.1

1 ME ST T. 19-A § 901(1)

What are the grounds for divorce in Maine?

Grounds are legally acceptable reasons for a divorce. When filing for divorce in Maine, you can file a petition stating that you and your spouse have irreconcilable differences (a total breakdown of the marriage). If you file for divorce based on irreconcilable differences in your marriage and your spouse disagrees that there are irreconcilable marital differences, the judge can continue (postpone) your case and require you and your spouse to go to counseling by a qualified professional counselor. The counselor will then give you, your spouse, and the judge a written report about the counseling. If the party who denied that the marriage was broken refuses to go to counseling without good reason, the judge may consider that as evidence that there are irreconcilable marital differences.1

In Maine, a judge may also grant you a divorce for certain fault-based grounds. A judge may grant you a divorce if your spouse:

  • cheats on you (adultery);
  • is impotent;
  • treats you with extreme cruelty;
  • deserts you for three consecutive years before you file for divorce;
  • has obvious and confirmed intoxication habits using drugs or alcohol;
  • overtly, wantonly (without regard for you), or cruelly refuses to or neglects to provide you with support despite having the ability to provide you with support;
  • cruel and abusive treatment; or
  • is found to be an incapacitated person for whom a guardian with full powers has been appointed.2

Note: You can request that the judge make your divorce proceedings closed to the public and unless your spouse disagrees, the judge will keep the public from observing your hearings.3

1 ME ST T. 19-A § 902(2)
2 ME ST T. 19-A § 902(1)
3 ME ST T. 19-A § 901(3)