Divorce can be an emotional time for all involved. Children especially are affected by divorce. However, the process does not have to get overcomplicated or difficult. Knowing how to proceed with a divorce properly can reduce stress, frustration, time, and money. It is essential to contact a divorce law attorney in Lewiston, ME to help with your situation. Every family dynamic is unique and may require out of the box solutions with your specific circumstance. Michael L. Dubois, P.A. Attorney at Law, can help guide you and your family toward a smoother transition during a divorce.
What Happens When You File For Divorce?
Regardless of whether the parties are in full agreement on all issues raised by a divorce or if those issues have been resolved by agreement, certain steps have to be followed to obtain a divorce in Maine. All divorces require the filing of a divorce complaint and other documentation to start a case. These pleadings must be served upon the opposing party which starts a 60 day waiting period. This means your divorce cannot be finalized until the waiting period has expired. During the 60-day period, most cases proceed with the exchange of financial information and participation in mediation.
- What Has Your Experience Been In Handling Family Law Cases In Maine?
- How Can I Prepare For An Impending Divorce In Maine?
- What Are The Best Options For Proceeding With A Divorce In Maine?
- Is There An Age At Which A Child Can Decide Which Parent They Want To Live With?
- Does Maine Recognize Alimony Or Spousal Support Awards In A Divorce?
- What Factors Are Considered During The Division Of Assets And Debts In A Divorce?
- How Can I Protect My Assets Prior To Filing For A Divorce?
- At What Point Are The Papers Signed In the Divorce Or Custody Process?
- Will The Family Home Need To Be Sold To Give The Other Party Equity?
- What Is The Process Of Filing For A Divorce In Maine?
- How Are Spousal Support Issues Handled In A Divorce?
- How Are Child Custody Arrangements Handled In A Divorce?
If an agreement cannot be reached through mediation, a hearing will proceed. The parties will have to present their arguments and evidence in court and in front of a judge. The judge will then decide how to resolve the disagreements in accordance with all the evidence and arguments presented in the hearing
In all contested divorce cases, it is mandatory that the parties participate in mediation. We believe that mediation is an important part of any divorce and the process provides the best opportunity for the parties to participate in crafting the terms of their divorce. A successful mediation usually involves compromise by both parties. Achieving resolution through mediation gives comfort and control to the parties instead of the uncertainty created when giving the decision to a judge might have.
Some parties choose to proceed with their divorce utilizing a collaborative process. In a collaborative divorce, lawyers and other professionals assist the parties in achieving settlement through mediation and negotiation. The “fight and win” setting of a courtroom is replaced by a “troubleshooting and problem solving” approach.
Summary Of Divorce
It may be intimidating to send or receive divorce papers. Once divorce papers have been served, the process of breaking up a marriage begins. The dissolution of marriage begins when a spouse files and serves a summons and complaint. The summons and complaint is a request to terminate a marriage by the spouse initiating the divorce. The complaint may list matters that need to be addressed by the court, such as minor children, residence, visitation, and child support, if applicable, personal property, and debt. Other matters may also be addressed, such as real estate and spousal support.
The spouse receiving the complaint will need to file a written answer within 20 days with the court. The answer acknowledges receipt of the divorce papers and whether the spouse is in agreement or disagreement with any of the statements in the complaint. The spouse on the receiving end may want to file a counterclaim that affirms their agreement on divorce.
If minor children are present, a family law magistrate at the district court will begin the issue of the case. The family will meet with the family law magistrate shortly after the case has been filed with the court. The purpose of the meeting is to establish and discuss the living arrangements for the children, child support, and visitation. However, not all matters are settled with the family law magistrate, and court involvement will most likely occur. As the case moves through court, the family law magistrate will be supervising. The magistrate can also grant the divorce if all parties involved are in agreement.
Often, the parties involved are not able to reach an agreement on the terms of their divorce. In Maine, if minor children are involved, the parties are required to attend mediation. A judge may still order a couple who does not have children to attend mediation. A couple may also participate voluntarily in mediation if they wish.
The participants in mediation include the parties seeking a divorce, their attorneys, and the mediator. Mediation takes place in a private conference room and not in a courtroom. However, the mediator is hired by the court and cannot give legal advice. Instead, it’s wise to consult a divorce law attorney in Lewiston, ME, for professional legal guidance. Though the mediator cannot provide legal advice, they will help the parties try to reach a resolution and agreeable terms involving the parties’ divorce. If the mediation is successful and the parties can agree on the terms of their divorce, the family law magistrate or a judge can grant the divorce in an uncontested hearing.
At our office, we clearly and definitively explain the party’s rights and responsibilities at every stage of the proceedings and provide the client with the necessary understanding to establish realistic goals. We have found that a majority of cases can be resolved without the need for costly litigation.
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