If you need some support while you are going through a divorce, here is a partial list of services that may be of help to you. They are listed under three headings: "legal," "other" (including resources for domestic violence, counseling and support, and parenting help) and "financial." Check the topic headings to find resources in your geographic area.
Pine Tree Legal Assistance
Pine Tree Legal Assistance handles only a few divorce cases. We also post self-help guides and articles about divorce and parental rights.
If you are low income, Pine Tree may be able to help you with other legal problems, such as:
- you apply for government benefits but are turned down
- you are being evicted from public housing
- you have problems with MaineCare
- you need a protection from abuse order
Maine Volunteer Lawyers Project
The Maine Volunteer Lawyers Project operates several Courthouse Assistance Projects. If there is a project in your District Court, you can go there for free help with preparing court forms and getting answers to your questions.
Maine Lawyer Referral and Information Service
For a $25 fee, the Maine Lawyer Referral and Information Service can refer you to a lawyer in your area for a one half hour consultation or review of your paperwork. This service is approved and supported by the Maine State Bar Association. If the consultation goes over the half hour, or if you decide to hire the lawyer, you will need to negotiate fees and payment arrangements. If you think you can afford something but not "full representation," you can ask for a referral to a lawyer who offers "limited representation" or "unbundled services," to get help with a specific part of your cases or answers to specific questions.
Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic
The Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic is run by the University of Maine School of Law. Students represent low income people in civil cases, including contested divorces, in Cumberland, York, Southern Androscoggin, and Western Sagadahoc counties.
Telephone (for the greater Portland area): 780-4370
Toll Free (for outside the greater Portland area): 1-877-780-2522
If You Have Experienced Domestic Violence
Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence
The Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence is a group of organizations set up to work together to end domestic abuse. It helps to coordinate the work of the local domestic violence projects. They have a statewide domestic abuse hotline you can call at 1-866-834-4357. Deaf or Hard of Hearing callers can use 1-800-437-1220.
You can also contact the agency serving your county. Many of these projects also have a lawyer on staff, who may be able to help you with legal issues.
Domestic Violence Resources for Native Americans
Wabanaki Health and Wellness can make referrals.
Passamaquoddy Peaceful Relations 1-877-853-2613 Toll Free 24 Hour Hotline
Indian Township: Passamaquoddy Health Center call 796-2321 (M-F 7:30-4)
Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians: Domestic Violence Hotline 532-6401 (24 hours); Maliseet Domestic and Sexual Violence Advocacy Center
Aroostook Band of Micmacs: (ask for Tania Morey) 764-1972
Penobscot Nation Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Advocacy Center: 631-4886 24 Hour Helpline
Counseling and Support Services
Get quick 24-hour access to health and human services information and resources. Toll Free Telephone: 2-1-1
Toll Free from outside of Maine: (877) 463-6207
You can also text your zip code to 898-211 to access information and resources via text message (standard messaging rates apply)
211 Home Page
Maine State Crisis Hotline
If you are stressed out and need help, the Maine State Crisis Hotline (888-568-1112) offers support and referrals to agencies in your area. Other crisis and hotline numbers are listed on the Maine DHHS website.
New Ventures Maine
If you are going through major life changes, New Ventures Maine can give you support and assistance. The Maine Centers offers free online and in-person workshops and courses in employability, career/life planning, job searches, self-esteem, money management, and self-employment. Call the number below to be referred to the program nearest you.
Toll Free: 1-800-442-2092
Catholic Charities Maine
Catholic Charities Maine offers such services as day care resources, substance abuse counseling, children's youth services, dental clinics, and services for the visually and hearing impaired, among others. Not all services are offered in all locations. Call the number below to be referred to the program nearest you.
Toll Free: 1-800-781-8550
The Opportunities Alliance offers programs to help people deal with suicide, crisis, homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse
Toll Free: 1-877-429-6884
Cumberland County Crisis Response: 774-HELP or Toll Free: 1-888-568-1112 (Voice or TDD) 24 Hours
Parenting Help and Education
The Families Change Maine website has information for parents, teenagers, and kids going through a divorce or separation in their family. It has information about some of the feelings, and difficult emotional parts of a divorce that a lot of legal resources don't talk about. There is also an interactive game, Changeville, to help younger kids work through their questions and feelings.
Kids First Center
The Kids First Center offers a variety of services to the community.
The Kids First Center is a safe place for parents to learn how to peacefully co-parent and how to keep children from the middle of adult disputes. Raising healthy, happy, and well-adjusted children is possible even when parents are not together.
Through educational programming for parents, children, and allies, the Kids First Center strives to support families during difficult transitions and teach resilience skills that last a lifetime.
Call 761-2709 for information about their programs.
The following organizations offer similar programs:
Supervised Visitation and Drop Off and Pick Up Centers
Home to Home
Home to Home provides a safe place for separated or divorced parents of mid-coast and Androscoggin County Maine to exchange their children for visitations. A specific time is set up for the exchange. For more information about peaceful exchanges at Home to Home, please contact your lawyer or Home to Home at: 837-4894.
If you need financial help during or after your divorce or separation, you should know about the these programs.
Income Tax Credits
Go here for tax tips. Apply for all the credits you qualify for and get your tax return prepared for free.
Property Tax or Rent Refund
Both renters and homeowners can qualify for a property tax or rent refund. You can file each year between August 1st and the following May 31st. To get an application, call 624-7894. That number operates 24 hours a day. For information, call 626-8475, Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. The TTY number is 888-577-6690. Or, you can write to Maine Revenue Services, P.O. Box 1060, Augusta, ME 04332-1060. Go to online Property Tax Fairness Credit application and more information .
TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
If your household qualifies, you can get a monthly check. TANF has a work/training requirement, the ASPIRE program. This requirement is waived for some people who get TANF. To apply for TANF, contact the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) office nearest you. If you want to go to college while you are getting aid, ask DHHS about the Parents as Scholars (or PaS) program. If you are denied or told you cannot apply, call Pine Tree Legal Assistance.
SNAP (Food Stamps)
Many working families in Maine qualify for Food Supplements.
An increasing number of children and their parents are eligible for MaineCare health coverage. Many children who are not financially eligible for TANF or food stamps can get MaineCare. If you qualify, MaineCare is free, although some families may have to pay a small premium.
WIC (Women, Infants, and Children)
If you are pregnant, have had a baby within the last six months, are breastfeeding a baby under 12 months old, or have a child or foster child under age 5, the W.I.C. Program can help you buy certain types of food. Call the Toll Free number below to be referred to the Program nearest you.
Toll Free: 1-800-437-9300 TTY: 1-800-438-5514
Emergency Assistance Program
This program is run by DHHS for low income households with children under the age of 21 who are threatened by destitution or homelessness because of emergency situations. DHHS can help pay a security deposit or back rent if that will prevent an eviction or if your present home is unsafe and you need to move. The program can also pay a bill to prevent a utility shut-off. You can get benefits from this program during a 30 day period one time per year. To apply, contact your area DHHS office.
Alternative Aid Assistance
Alternative Aid Assistance is a program to help eligible parents who need short term help to find or maintain employment. Voucher payments equal to up to three months worth of TANF benefits. This program can help a family once every 12 months, to help them avoid the need for ongoing TANF benefits. To apply, contact your area DHHS office.
General Assistance is a welfare program run by every city and town. You can use General Assistance vouchers to pay for rent, food, utilities, medicine or clothing. If your income is too low to pay for your basic necessities, General Assistance may help you. To qualify, you may have to show that your income for the past 30 days was spent on basic necessities. If you are able to work, you may be required to do a work search or "workfare." If you do not know how to apply, or have questions about how your town or city is handling your application, call DHHS Toll Free at 1-800-442-6003. The local number is 287-2826. The TTY number is 1-800-606-0215.
Learn more details about how this program works.
If you are low on money, food or clothing, call your local Salvation Army office. The Divisional Headquarters are located in Portland at 297 Cumberland Avenue, PO Box 3647, Portland, ME 04104. Telephone: 774-4172.
Community Action Program (CAP) Offices
CAP agencies offer a number of programs which may help you. They include: health services and referrals, job training, day care, housing information and referral, fuel assistance, insulation and furnace repairs, surplus food, and transportation.
Updated August 2023