Before You Get Started – What to know before filing for divorce in Maine

Who can file for divorce in Maine? 

There are a few situations when you can file for a divorce in the state of Maine (instead of another state). Generally, you or your marriage must have some connection to the state of Maine.

Specifically, you can file for divorce in Maine if: 

  1. You have lived in Maine for at least six months when you file. 
  2. You are a resident of the state of Maine, and you were married in Maine.  
  3. You are a resident of the state of Maine, and were living in Maine when the situation or events leading to the divorce happened.  
  4. The person you are divorcing is a resident of the State of Maine.  

Any of these connections will work – they cover many common situations. It is important to know that you can still get a divorce in Maine even if you did not get married here!  


Should I get a lawyer? 

We provide this information for low-income people who cannot afford to hire lawyers. We recommend that you consult a lawyer if you can afford one. 

Also, you should try to get a lawyer if your divorce involves: 

  • Property issues, such as pensions or real estate 
  • Domestic violence 

You may want to try to do it yourself if: 

  • You and your spouse agree on all the legal issues, 
  • You do not feel that your spouse is a threat, and 
  • You have little property and few debts, which you can divide fairly. 

People with low incomes can get some limited help from Courthouse Assistant Projects (available in many, but not all Maine District Courts). For example, they can help you if you have more questions about filling out the forms or “serving” the forms on your spouse.  

If you think you can pay something for a lawyer, or for limited legal advice, you may want to call the Maine State Bar Association's Information and Referral Services: 1-800-860-1460. They charge a small referral fee. Or search online for Maine lawyers who specialize in divorce. 

If you are in a relationship with domestic violence, we recommend that you contact your local domestic violence program: 1-866-83-4HELP (1-866-834-4357). 


How long will my divorce case take? 

You cannot get divorced until at least 60 days after the complaint for divorce is served (delivered to your spouse). If you and your spouse agree on all or most of the issues, your case could be over in 60 days. If you disagree and the issues are complicated, your case could take much longer. 


How much does it cost to get a divorce in Maine? 

Here are some of the costs, which may change: 

  • Summons Form: $5 
  • Filing fee: $120 
  • Service fee: $8 - $50 (It varies depending on which method of service you use) 
  • Mediation fee (only if you request mediation): $80 (per party; $160 total for two mediation sessions) 

You can ask the court to waive the fees if you have a low income and cannot afford them. Ask the clerk for an "Application to Proceed Without Payment of Fees" and an "Indigency Affidavit." Or get these fee waiver forms online