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Southern Maine Family Law Blog

Five books to help parents guide their children through divorce

A divorce can upend the life of a child. From being shipped from house to house, to witnessing the breakdown of their parents’ relationship, it’s a lot for children to process.

Whether your child feels they were the cause of the divorce or not, they are processing a lot of emotions. Communicating to your children why you are separating can be difficult. Additional resources to assist your kids cope with divorce can be beneficial. Thank goodness others have written books to help throughout the process.

Dividing your property: How should you proceed?

During your divorce, you may not be sure about how you want to divide your property. Maine does not have community property laws, which means that you can divide your assets equitably. Equitable is not equal, so you'll want to show why you deserve the assets that you're seeking.

In a property division case with equitable distribution, it's important for you to take note of the marital assets in your home. You should also note any assets that are digital or on paper, like retirement accounts or stocks. Take this list to your attorney, so they can get a good idea of the value of your property and how best to negotiate for what you want to keep.

How can I help my child get used to having two homes?

For some kids, having two homes can be difficult. Divorce is accompanied by many changes to a child’s life, and the switch from one home to two homes can sometimes represent many of those changes at once.

If you are the parent who has acquired the new home, there are ways you can help your child feel more comfortable in that space. There are also actions you can take to help your child adjust to the new routine of traveling between your home and the child’s other home.

You can divorce without an attorney, but here's why you shouldn't

Divorces go through a similar process in most states, but each state has its own requirements to begin a divorce. In Maine, you or your spouse will have to have been a resident for at least six months or have been married in Maine to seek a divorce there. You may also be able to divorce in Maine if you were living there when the cause for your divorce took place.

Every divorce has its own challenges, which is why Maine's laws required you to wait at least 60 days from the time of your initial divorce filing to the final hearing. Of course, those 60 days may not be enough to get through all your paperwork and agreements. If you and your spouse can't agree on things like property division or child support, your case may take much longer.

How are parental rights and responsibilities handled in Maine?

If you’re going through a divorce and have children, you know that deciding parental rights and responsibilities can be one of the more contentious aspects between soon-to-be-ex-spouses. You’ve also likely heard the phrase “best interest of the child”.

Best interest refers to the factors a court will look at to determine parental rights and responsibilities between parents.

Avoid financial issues after divorce by getting informed

After a divorce, there is no surprise that your finances may have to change. You no longer have two incomes to work with, and you have to support yourself on your own. Your home may be twice as expensive without the support of a spouse, and you still have to cover all your own bills.

Before you go through a divorce, it's important to think about how a divorce will affect you financially once it's through. When you know how it will affect you, it's easier to make decisions during the divorce that will help you maintain balanced finances.

A fault-based divorce could be the right choice for you

Divorces are different in every state, and Maine is no exception. Maine has residency requirements, no-fault grounds for divorces and other grounds you can choose.

When a divorce places you in a negative position, you might want to opt for a fault-based divorce, especially if you've been wronged by your spouse. Some faults for divorce are simple, like adultery or cruelty. You should be able to prove these things with collected documents or photographs, for example.

What are the requirements to get divorced in Maine?

Much like any other state in the country, anyone wanting to divorce in Maine must meet certain eligibility requirements in order to file. These are outlined in the Maine Code Revised Title 19-A, Chapter 29: Divorce.

In order to be eligible to file for divorce in Maine, the plaintiff or defendant must actually reside within the state and have done so for a period of at least six months prior to filing their petition. The plaintiff or defendant must also have been married in the state or have lived in Maine when they decided to either separate from their spouse or initiate divorce proceedings.

Preparing your finances for an unexpected divorce isn't hard

There are two life events that can ruin your finances: a spouse's death and divorce. Unless you take steps to prepare for these, then you may find yourself grieving your loss while you're trying to find a way to get back on your feet financially once again. There are steps you can take to better prepare for events such as these though.

By the time one of these events occurs, it's too late to ask about what accounts exist and how to access them. This is why it's important for you to take an inventory of that information every six months while your relationship is going strong. If you keep track of the account numbers, online logins and passwords along the way, then you'll have ready access to them should your spouse file for divorce or pass away.

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