What are the residency requirements for divorce in Maine?
A judge can grant you a divorce in Maine if any of the following are true:
- 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,1 which basically is a total breakdown of the marriage. This is considered a no-fault ground, meaning it’s not necessarily either spouse’s fault that the marriage is ending.
If you file for divorce based on irreconcilable differences but your spouse denies that irreconcilable differences exist, and believes that marriage can be saved, the judge can 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 spouse who denies that the marriage is broken refuses to go to counseling without good reason, the judge may consider that as evidence to support your claim that there are irreconcilable marital differences.1
A judge may also grant a divorce for certain fault-based grounds, if you allege that 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, without regard for you (wantonly), or cruelly refuses to, or neglects to, provide you with support despite having the ability to provide you with support;
- commits cruel and abusive treatment against you; 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. Unless your spouse disagrees, the judge will keep the public from observing your hearings.3
1 ME ST T. 19-A § 902(1)(H), (2)
2 ME ST T. 19-A § 902(1)
3 ME ST T. 19-A § 901(3)