Maine Property Division Factors
In Maine, the property and debt issues are typically settled between the parties by a signed Marital Settlement Agreement or the property award is actually order and decreed by the Domestic Court within the Judgment of Divorce.
Maine is referred to as an "equitable distribution" state. When the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the Domestic Court will take the following approach to dividing the assets; First, it will go through a discovery process to classify which property and debt is to be considered marital. Next, it will assign a monetary value on the marital property and debt. Last, it will distribute the marital assets between the two parties in an equitable fashion. Equitable does not mean equal, but rather what is deemed by the Domestic Court to be fair.
The court shall set apart to each spouse the spouse’s property and shall divide the marital property in proportions the court considers just after considering all relevant factors, including: 1. The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property, including the contribution of a spouse as homemaker; 2. The value of the property set apart to each spouse; and 3. The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the division of property is to become effective, including the desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live in the home for reasonable periods to the spouse having custody of the children. (Maine Revised Statutes - Title 19A - Sections: 953)
Since Maine is an "Equitable Distribution" state, all marital property will be divided in an equitable fashion according to the court unless agreed to otherwise by the divorcing spouses. What does "equitable" mean? Equitable can be defined as "what is fair, not necessarily equal." To automatically believe the marital property would be divided 50-50 would be a wrong assumption in any equitable distribution state. You can also read more about Maine property division in the Maine state statutes located at: http://janus.state.me.us/.
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