Divorce & Family Lawyers in Freeport, ME
When a relationship ends, it may be difficult to navigate the numerous emotional issues that lie ahead while attempting to move on and create a brighter future. We at The Maine Divorce Group in Freeport, ME, know that each divorce or breakup is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. We will work with you and your family to find the best solution for your situation.
Because every divorce and family case is unique for a variety of reasons, this is the first and most fundamental reason The Maine Divorce Group is available to assist you in resolving your family issues, no matter how difficult they may be.
We provide excellent representation on your behalf, focusing on all aspects of family law, divorce & separation, spousal support, child planning and support, complex property division, and all other issues pertaining to business owners & estate management following separation.
Family Law Services in Freeport
We serve all types of family law clients, including traditional divorces, civil unions, and domestic partnerships. The Maine Divorce Group has helped numerous people in a variety of issues, such as:
The legal status of a relationship is symbolized by marriage. When a married couple decides to end their marriage, they must follow the formalities of dissolving it.
Unfortunately, this is not as simple as it may sound. Decisions and compromises will be required in terms of property, children, and assets.
Since these are serious concerns that may have a significant influence on the rest of your life and your children’s, many people seek assistance from a family law firm that is well-versed in Maine’s laws.
There is no such thing as a quick and easy divorce in Maine, but there are ways to make it less stressful and expensive.
Divorce mediation is one of the most successful methods for couples to work through their differences amicably. Because of its success in resolving family law concerns and keeping divorce proceedings out of court, Maine has long encouraged mediation as an alternative dispute resolution approach.
Parental Rights and Responsibilities in Maine
Parents are still responsible for raising their children, providing for their physical, mental, and emotional needs after separation.
The term “child custody” is no longer used in Maine family law and has been replaced with “parental rights and responsibilities”.
The laws might be difficult to understand and get used to for parents, but if you remember to put the child’s best interests first at all times, it will make things a lot easier for everyone involved.
In Maine, parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children until the age of 18 or they graduate high school (whichever comes last).
So, if the court needs to decide about parental rights and responsibilities during a divorce, a child support order may be issued at the same time.
Spousal support may or may not be required in every divorce. The demands of the recipient, the payor’s income and financial status, and the length and duration of the marriage all play a role in determining if and how much spousal support will be paid.
Maine considers the policy of “equitable distribution” when dividing property in a Maine divorce. Community property states, like Maine, try to allocate a couple’s property between spouses as evenly as possible.
It is crucial that your property is appropriately classified so that you can keep what is yours, or classified as non- marital property, and that you can receive what is equitable under the law.
If you have parental rights and are given custody of your children, relocating might not be as simple. It’s crucial that you speak with a knowledgeable Maine family law attorney if you’re thinking about moving.
Your lawyer will be able to tell you what your rights and responsibilities are in connection with the move and make sure that you follow all the required steps.
The Maine family law courts discourage post-judgment changes to court orders, but they do so with a degree of flexibility. They are not accomplished automatically or right away.
Both parties must continue to comply with the terms of the existing order until it is granted by the court.
Our post-judgment modification lawyers at The Maine Divorce Group can assist you in applying to the court for a judgment that reflects the current state of affairs or filing a motion to enforce an existing family law judgment.
What is an uncontested divorce in Freeport, Maine?
A “uncontested divorce” is a divorce in which both spouses agree on all aspects of the divorce, such as property division, debt distribution, legal and physical custody, parenting time (visitation), alimony, and child support. If you don’t reach an agreement on any issues, your case will be contested and go to trial.
Maine allows for two distinct types of uncontested divorces: default and settlement. When the plaintiff (the spouse who asks for the divorce) serves divorce papers on the defendant (the other spouse), but the defendant does not file a response, this is known as a default divorce.
Alternatively, a couple may negotiate their differences informally or with the aid of a mediator to resolve all concerns in their situation. The judge may schedule a final uncontested divorce hearing to settle the case once the pair files the divorce settlement agreement with the court and the required time period has elapsed.
What’s the difference between divorce and legal separation in Freeport, Maine?
Although you may believe that the divorce process starts when you and your partner decide to separate, until one spouse files a petition for divorce with the local court, the legal divorce procedure does not begin.
During a divorce, the couple usually negotiates how to resolve important concerns like child custody and visitation, child support, property division, and marital support. If you and your spouse can’t come to an agreement, the court will handle any lingering issues for you according on your state’s specific divorce rules. In the end, the court dissolves the marriage, allowing each spouse to remarry immediately, if they so choose.
In Freeport, Maine, a marital separation (judicial separation) is similar to a divorce in that one spouse must file a complaint with the court, and the couple negotiates over the same divorce-related problems. There is no legal impediment to either spouse living a life free of the other, so you may date, relocate, make contracts for personal belongings, or buy and sell real estate as an unmarried person.
However, the most significant distinction between divorce and separation is that after a legal separation procedure, the couple is still legally married. If one or both spouses want to remarry after the split, they must ask the court to convert the case into a formal divorce.
What to do before filing for divorce in Freeport, Maine
It’s not a light decision to get divorced, but it’s also not the time to go into it with little preparation. There are several things to think about before filing for divorce that may influence your case, as well as your spouse and children if they live at home. You’ll want to consider:
- your shared assets, both physical and digital,
- any property you may have to divide
- if there is a business, how will it be managed after separation,
- if you have children, there may be need to address a parenting plan
- child support
- spousal support
- and the list goes on.
With the help of a competent family attorney, you can enhance the chances of success in your favor by preparing carefully. Before submitting a divorce action, our law firm offers the following suggestions:
- Collect essential records such as financial statements, tax returns, your prenuptial agreement, and insurance policies
- Inventory your physical, real, and investment property to help identify property that is part of the marital estate and property that is not
- Remain in your family home or if you intend to leave, discuss your plans with your Maine family law attorney first
- Think about the needs of your children
- Secure your digital accounts and information so that your spouse cannot find incriminating evidence to use against you
- Open your own financial accounts, however, talk to your lawyer before moving money around from joint accounts
What to consider before your divorce in Freeport, Maine
When your marriage comes to an end, you, your spouse, and your children are about to encounter one of the most stressful moments in your life, with a lot of emotions. The number of adjustments may include, but not limited to, new living areas, increased family expenditures, new parenting plans & schedules, new schools, and possibly even new cities. These high emotions can impair decision-making, so it is important to consider reviewing our tips before starting the process of filing for divorce.
- A lot of people want to win their divorce case, as though it were a courtroom battle against their ex. In reality, there is seldom a true “winner.” Divorce proceedings usually involve numerous issues including child custody and support, property division, alimony, and many more. Occasionally, separated spouses do not get things exactly as they planned. Consider the consequences of a divorce lawsuit that may drag on in court while you continue down the road. Remember that extending a court battle costs more than if you simply considered working with your ex to resolve issues wherever feasible. It’s not only expensive, but it’s also difficult for children to see their parents, two people who cared for each other, fight back and forth at the end of a lengthy divorce.
- When it comes to aspects of your marriage, such as your home, business, children and investments, don’t make crucial decisions on the spur of the moment. Instead of making a hasty decision to get through with the divorce proceedings, take your time and think it over. It’s critical that you consider all potential outcomes before forming any snap judgments.
- Remember, as previously said, your children will be the ones to suffer the most from an ugly divorce since they will see their parents bickering over their possessions. Consider how you would feel if someone criticized your other parent in front of your kids. If your children are not coming from a history of neglect or abuse, they will have a continuing connection with one parent and may influence the sort of future created following the divorce. Consider whether enlisting the help of a mental health professional to speak with your children about the divorce might assist them in comprehending how to face and manage their feelings as communication will be very important between the parents and their kids moving forward.
- Try to forget about the past’s irritants and bad habits as much as possible, and focus more on the future after separation and divorce. Try to approach your split with an eagerness to collaborate with your spouse in order to get the best possible outcome for your entire family. It may appear simpler to get caught up on the past by trying to repair those issues during your divorce, but this can result in more time and legal expenses before you ever get to the stage of attempting to rebuild your life.
Why shouldn’t I represent myself in a Freeport divorce?
Self-represented litigants who thought the wealth of information on the Internet would help them better represent themselves generally became disillusioned and disheartened quickly.
They start by seeking competent legal resources, which are created expressly for non-lawyers (note; these materials are few and far between). They’re looking for information on more practical tasks like filing or serving, advice on negotiation or a strategy for talking to the other half, presentation techniques, or even legal procedures.
However, they’re often directed to a number of websites with inconsistent or conflicting information. Those who are self-representing also have a hard time figuring out which sources are actually “legitimate” or which laws are up to date. On top of that, many resources are difficult to read and use jargon or unexplained legal terms that can over complicate what you are hoping to achieve.
There are others who even start with a family lawyer. They typically tell themselves that they left their lawyer due to matters related to cost, but really they were justifying to themselves how they felt their lawyer wasn’t listening, not taking instruction on how to proceed, or wasn’t knowledgeable enough about the particular legal issues that they were facing, leaving them feeling unsure of they possible outcome.
Navigating the court procedure on your own may be intimidating and exhausting. Many self-represented individuals start with a degree of optimism, but that optimism frequently evaporates when they come face to face with the reality of the legal system. This can be triggered by difficulties completing application forms, a difficult confrontation between themselves and their ex, disputes may arise from a previous marital agreement or in regard to a number of assets, or understanding the service process to name but a few of the challenges that can, and probably will arise.
A competent family law attorney will be with you every step of the way, and they’ll know precisely what questions to ask in order to paint a complete picture, what to anticipate when it comes to unforeseen problems, and how to map a straight line forward for all parties involved.
Separation is already an emotional and difficult journey. Don’t take on the burden of the legal process by yourself. Reach out to an experienced family lawyer at The Maine Divorce Group for a one-on-one confidential consultation today.
Often divorcing spouses have goals that are completely unreasonable or inconsistent with the law but emotions can weigh heavy and decision making can become difficult. If you want your divorce or family matter resolved quickly and timely, you need to understand how divorce laws apply in Maine to your case and have a reasonable expectation about the outcome.
This is why it is important to consult an experienced divorce lawyer. Call us at (207) 571-8146 or contact us directly online. We are here to assist your family.
Where do I file for divorce in Freeport, Maine?
Divorce Court in Cumberland County, Maine
Maine District Court – West Bath, Maine
Clerk Name: Bethany Gagnon
Court Address: 101 New Meadows Road, West Bath, ME 04530
Phone: (207) 442-0200
Clerk Hours: 8AM – 4PM
Parking information: Public parking is located to the left of the courthouse.
Call 207-230-6597 or contact us online to schedule a consult with one of our highly skilled family law attorneys today.
We serve many clients, just like you, across Maine in Cumberland, York, Sagadahoc, & Lincoln Counties.
Contact The Maine Divorce Group today
HOW CAN THE MAINE GROUP DIVORCE HELP?
Divorce is a highly emotional and stressful experience for most people. But you don’t have to face this challenge alone. Having a strong divorce attorney in your corner can help ensure that you and your children walk away from this process with the best opportunities available for future success and happiness.