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Maine Child Custody Factors

In Maine, when deciding a child custody arrangement, the court shall consider the following factors:

1. The age of the child;

2. The relationship of the child with the child’s parents and any other persons who may significantly affect the child’s welfare;

3. The preference of the child, if old enough to express a meaningful preference;

4. The duration and adequacy of the child’s current living arrangements and the desirability of maintaining continuity;

5. The stability of any proposed living arrangements for the child;

6. The motivation of the parties involved and their capacities to give the child love, affection and guidance;

7. The child’s adjustment to the child’s present home, school and community;

8. The capacity of each parent to allow and encourage frequent and continuing contact between the child and the other parent, including physical access;

9. The capacity of each parent to cooperate or to learn to cooperate in child care;

10. Methods for assisting parental cooperation and resolving disputes and each parent’s willingness to use those methods;

11. The effect on the child if one parent has sole authority over the child’s upbringing;

12. The existence of domestic abuse between the parents, in the past or currently, and how that abuse affects:†

13. The existence of any history of child abuse by a parent;

14. All other factors having a reasonable bearing on the physical and psychological well-being of the child;

15. A parent’s prior willful misuse of the protection from abuse process

16. If the child is under one year of age, whether the child is being breast-fed; and†

17. The existence of a parent’s conviction for a sex offense or a sexually violent offense. (Maine Revised Statutes - Title 19A - Sections: 1501, 1653)

In Maine, as with all other states, the court will always be looking out for the best interests of the children. What you want or your spouse wants is not really relevant until the court says it is. Many parents go to custody hearings not realizing that they must portray themselves as the best custodial parent rather pleading to the court that they simply deserve the children. The court would much prefer the parents to decide who should have custody, but if they canít, the court will do it for them. You can also read more about Maine child custody in the Maine state statutes located at: http://janus.state.me.us/.