What forms do I need to fill out to start a divorce case?
You can get most of forms you need (including instructions) as fillable .pdf’s here: Maine Divorce without Children Forms.
One form you cannot get online is called the Summons. You must get the Summons form from the Court Clerk. The Court charges $5.00 for a signed Summons form.
You can go to your local District Court and ask the clerk for a divorce forms packet. Tell the clerk that you are married and whether you own property (a house or land). The clerk will give you the right set of court forms. The packet also has a page of instructions telling you what to do with the forms and how to "serve" your spouse with the forms.
Again, here are the typical costs of getting a divorce in Maine:
- Summons form: $5
- Filing fee: $120
- Service fee: $8 - $50 (Cost 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)
What if I can’t afford the fees for getting a divorce in Maine?
If you have a very low income and cannot pay these costs, you can ask the court to pay them for you. This is called a ‘fee waiver’ and in Maine you can apply for one by filling out two forms.
Ask the clerk for the forms: an Application to Proceed Without Payment of Fees (fee waiver form) and an Indigency Affidavit. Or use these fillable .pdf versions of the fee waiver forms.
Check all of the boxes near the top of the fee waiver form to show that you need all costs waived. On the affidavit form, list all of your income and expenses. If you get TANF, SSI, or general assistance, the court should waive the fees. Contact Pine Tree Legal Assistance if you are denied.
If your income is higher, the court will look at your income and expenses and decide whether you qualify for the waiver.