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.
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.
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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