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The 3 main issues spouses have to settle during a Maine divorce

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2024 | Divorce

Divorce proceedings often seem overwhelming to those who have just made the decision to file or gotten served by a spouse. It is normal for people to catastrophize the prospect of divorce and to expect that their life might soon undergo irrevocable, massive changes.

While divorce does have a profound impact on someone’s daily life and finances, it doesn’t need to lead to catastrophic changes for an individual. Those who focus on the main issues that require consideration in a Maine divorce are potentially in a position to obtain the best possible outcome given their circumstances. There are generally three main issues that divorcing spouses need to address before they go to court or as part of a litigated divorce case.

Property division matters

Not all couples have children, but almost every marriage results in the acquisition of some marital property and debts. Spouses either settle property matters on their own or take their disputes to court. Maine has an equitable distribution rule that requires judges to pursue a fair and reasonable division of property and debts as part of a litigated divorce. Any assets and debts accumulated during the marriage could be part of the marital estate for the purposes of property division.

Child custody matters

Few issues make people more emotional than the prospect of losing time with their children. Custody negotiations are often difficult for people to calmly and reasonably handle. If parents cannot divide decision-making authority and parenting time between themselves, then a judge may make determinations that they believe are in the best interests of the children.

Financial support issues

If parents share minor children, child support is an automatic component of their divorce proceedings. The courts generally expect that a spouse with higher income or less parenting time can provide support for the other household until the children become adults. Spousal support could also be an issue. In scenarios where one spouse has chosen to stay home for the benefit of the family unit, the other may have an obligation to make regular payments to help the dependent or homemaking spouse achieve independence or maintain a basic standard of living.

Most disputes related to divorce fall into one of those three categories. Understanding the basic rules that govern divorce proceedings in Maine can help people establish realistic goals. Those who know what to expect from divorce may feel less anxious about the process and more confident about moving on with their lives after an unhappy marriage.