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Maine Divorce Laws

Title 19-A: DOMESTIC RELATIONS HEADING: PL 1995, C. 694, PT. B, 2 (NEW); PT. E, 2 (AFF)
Part 2: MARRIED PERSONS HEADING: PL 1995, C. 694, PT. B, 2 (NEW); PT. E, 2 (AFF)
Chapter 27: JUDICIAL SEPARATION HEADING: PL 1995, C. 694, PT. B, 2 (NEW); PT. E, 2 (AFF)

851. Judicial separation

1. Grounds. 
[ 1997, c. 224, 5 (AFF); 1997, c. 224, 1 (RP) .]
1-A. Jurisdiction.  The District Court has jurisdiction to enter a separation decree:
A. Upon the petition of a married person who lives apart or who desires to live apart from that person's spouse for a period in excess of 60 continuous days; or [1997, c. 224, 2 (NEW); 1997, c. 224, 5 (AFF).]
B. Upon joint petition of a married couple who live apart or who desire to live apart for a period in excess of 60 continuous days. [1997, c. 224, 2 (NEW); 1997, c. 224, 5 (AFF).]
[ 1999, c. 731, Pt. ZZZ, 27 (AMD); 1999, c. 731, Pt. ZZZ, 42 (AFF) .]
2. Place of filing.  The person may file a petition for judicial separation in the county or judicial division in which either of the parties lives, except that if the petitioner has left the county or judicial division in which the parties lived together and the respondent still lives in that county or judicial division, the petitioner must file the petition in that county or judicial division. Notice must be given as the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure provide.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
3. Order. 
[ 1997, c. 224, 5 (AFF); 1997, c. 224, 3 (RP) .]
4. Mediation.  The court shall order the parties to participate in mediation as provided in chapter 3.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
5. Parental rights and responsibilities.  Upon the petition of either spouse, or of the guardian or next friend of one of the parties who may be mentally ill, the court may make an order awarding parental rights and responsibilities with respect to a minor child of the parties in accordance with chapter 55.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
6. Enforcement.  The court may enforce obedience to its orders by appropriate process including remedies provided in chapter 65. Nothing in this section may preclude the court from incarcerating a spouse for nonpayment of child support, spousal support or attorney's fees in violation of a court order to do so.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
7. Marriage settlement or contract not affected.  An action under this section does not invalidate a marriage settlement or contract between the parties.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
8. Orders pending final separation decree.  Pending a final separation decree, the court may:
A. Order either spouse to pay to the other spouse or to the attorney for the other spouse sufficient money for the defense or prosecution of the separation action; [1997, c. 224, 4 (NEW); 1997, c. 224, 5 (AFF).]
B. Make reasonable provision for either spouse's support; [2005, c. 323, 3 (AMD).]
C. Enter a decree for parental rights and responsibilities, including support of minor children in accordance with chapter 55. An order for child support under this section may include an order for the payment of all or part of the medical expenses, hospital expenses and other health care expenses of the children or an order to provide a policy or contract for coverage of those expenses. Availability of public assistance to the family may not affect the decision of the court relating to the responsibility of a parent to provide child support; [1997, c. 224, 4 (NEW); 1997, c. 224, 5 (AFF).]
D. By order, determine the possession of owned or rented real and personal property; and [1997, c. 224, 4 (NEW); 1997, c. 224, 5 (AFF).]
E. Enforce obedience by appropriate processes. [2005, c. 323, 3 (AMD).]
[ 2005, c. 323, 3 (AMD) .]
9. Spousal support.  The court may:
A. Order spousal support, which must be determined in accordance with the factors set forth in section 951-A; [1999, c. 634, 1 (AMD).]
B. Order periodic spousal support payments, payments of a specific sum or any combination of both; [1997, c. 224, 4 (NEW); 1997, c. 224, 5 (AFF).]
C. Order either spouse to maintain a policy of health insurance for the benefit of the other spouse and to pay all or a portion of the uninsured health care expenses of the other spouse; [1997, c. 224, 4 (NEW); 1997, c. 224, 5 (AFF).]
D. Order either spouse to maintain a policy of life insurance upon that person for the benefit of the other spouse or the couple's children; [1997, c. 224, 4 (NEW); 1997, c. 224, 5 (AFF).]
E. Order either party to pay the costs and attorney's fees of the other party in the defense or prosecution of a judicial separation; [1997, c. 224, 4 (NEW); 1997, c. 224, 5 (AFF).]
F. At any time, alter or amend an order for spousal support or a specific sum when it appears that justice requires it, except that a court may not increase the spousal support if the original decree prohibits an increase. In making an alteration or amendment, the court shall consider the factors set forth in section 951-A; and [1999, c. 634, 1 (AMD).]
G. Enforce an order for spousal support or attorney's fees and costs in accordance with section 952. [1997, c. 224, 4 (NEW); 1997, c. 224, 5 (AFF).]
This subsection does not limit the court, by full or partial agreement of the parties or otherwise, from awarding spousal support for a limited period, from awarding spousal support that may not be increased regardless of subsequent events or conditions or otherwise limiting or conditioning the spousal support award in any manner or term that the court considers just.
[ 1999, c. 634, 1 (AMD) .]
10. Disposition of property.  The court may order the disposition of the parties' property in accordance with section 953. Descent of real estate is governed by section 953.
[ 1997, c. 224, 4 (NEW); 1997, c. 224, 5 (AFF) .]
11. Freedom from restraint and interference.  The court may order either spouse to refrain from imposing any restraint on the personal liberty of the other or interfering with the personal privacy of the other and may order other conditions necessary to ensure the peaceful coexistence of the parties.
[ 1997, c. 224, 4 (NEW); 1997, c. 224, 5 (AFF) .]
12. Modification and termination of separation decrees.  A separation decree may be modified or is terminated as follows.
A. Upon motion by either party served in accordance with the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4, and after notice and hearing, the court may order the modification of a separation decree upon showing of a substantial change of circumstances justifying the modification. However, that portion of the separation decree disposing of the parties' property in accordance with section 953 is not subject to modification and remains in full force. [1997, c. 224, 4 (NEW); 1997, c. 224, 5 (AFF).]
B. Upon the filing of a written declaration signed and acknowledged by both parties stating that they have resumed marital relations, the separation decree terminates. However, that portion of the separation decree disposing of the parties' property in accordance with section 953 is not subject to termination and remains in full force. [1997, c. 224, 4 (NEW); 1997, c. 224, 5 (AFF).]
C. Upon entry of a final judgment of divorce between the parties, the separation agreement terminates. However, that portion of the separation decree disposing of the parties' property in accordance with section 953 is not subject to termination and remains in full force. [1997, c. 224, 4 (NEW); 1997, c. 224, 5 (AFF).]
[ 1997, c. 224, 4 (NEW); 1997, c. 224, 5 (AFF) .]
13. Joinder with divorce action.  If a complaint or counterclaim seeking a divorce pursuant to section 901 is filed in an action in which a complaint or counterclaim seeking a separation decree has also been filed, the court shall order the dismissal of the complaint or counterclaim seeking a separation decree if the court grants a divorce.
[ 1997, c. 224, 4 (NEW); 1997, c. 224, 5 (AFF) .]
14. Inheritance not barred.  A separation decree does not bar the spouses or the issue of the marriage from inheriting.
[ 1997, c. 224, 4 (NEW); 1997, c. 224, 5 (AFF) .]
15. Fraud.  The court may not grant a judicial separation when the parties seek to procure a judicial separation for fraudulent purposes.
[ 1997, c. 224, 4 (NEW); 1997, c. 224, 5 (AFF) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1995, c. 694, B2 (NEW). 1995, c. 694, E2 (AFF). 1997, c. 224, 1-4 (AMD). 1997, c. 224, 5 (AFF). 1999, c. 634, 1 (AMD). 1999, c. 731, ZZZ27 (AMD). 1999, c. 731, ZZZ42 (AFF). 2005, c. 323, 3 (AMD).

852. Preliminary injunction, effect; attachment or trustee process

1. Issue of preliminary injunction.  In all actions for judicial separation the clerk of the court, pursuant to order of the District Court, shall issue a preliminary injunction in the following manner.
A. The preliminary injunction must bear the signature or facsimile signature of the clerk, be under the seal of the court, contain the name of the court and the names of the parties and state the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney. The preliminary injunction may be obtained in blank from the clerk and must be filled out by the plaintiff's attorney. The plaintiff's attorney is responsible for serving this preliminary injunction, along with the summons and complaint, on the defendant. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
B. The preliminary injunction must be directed to each party to the action and must contain the following orders:
(1) That each party is enjoined from transferring, encumbering, concealing, selling or otherwise disposing of the property of either or both of the parties, except in the usual course of business or for the necessities of life, without the written consent of the parties or the permission of the court;
(2) That each party is enjoined from imposing restraint on the personal liberty of the other party or of a biological or adopted child of either or both of the parties; and
(3) That each party is enjoined from voluntarily removing the other party or a child of the parties from a policy of health insurance that provides coverage for the other party or the child of the parties. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
C. The preliminary injunction must include the following statement:
"Warning

This is an official court order. If you disobey this order the court may find you in contempt of court.

This court order is effective until the earliest of the following:

(1) The court revokes or modifies it;
(2) A final divorce judgment or decree of judicial separation is entered; or
(3) The action is dismissed." [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
D. The preliminary injunction is effective against the plaintiff upon the commencement of the action and against the defendant upon service of a copy of both the complaint and order in accordance with the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure. The plaintiff is deemed to have accepted service of the plaintiff's copy of the preliminary injunction and to have actual notice of its contents by filing or causing the complaint to be served. The plaintiff shall cause a copy of the preliminary injunction to be served upon the defendant with a copy of the summons and complaint. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
E. The preliminary injunction has the force and effect of an order of a Judge of the Probate Court or District Court or Justice of Superior Court and is enforceable by all remedies made available by law, including contempt of court. The order remains in effect until entry of a final decree, until the case is dismissed or until otherwise ordered by the court. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
[ 1999, c. 731, Pt. ZZZ, 28 (AMD); 1999, c. 731, Pt. ZZZ, 42 (AFF) .]
2. Revocation or modification.  A preliminary injunction may be revoked or modified after hearing for good cause shown. The party seeking to revoke or modify the preliminary injunction shall file a motion together with an affidavit that demonstrates the good cause necessary for revocation or modification.
A. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, on 7 days' notice to the other party or on shorter notice as the court may order, either party subject to an order may appear and move the dissolution or modification of the order, and in that event the court shall proceed to hear and determine the motion as expeditiously as justice requires. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
B. Mediation is not required before a hearing on a motion to revoke or modify a preliminary injunction except as directed by the court. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
C. A preliminary injunction does not prejudice the rights of the parties or a child that are to be adjudicated at subsequent hearings in the proceeding and does not limit the power of the court to issue other injunctive relief that may be proper under the circumstances. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
D. A preliminary injunction terminates when:
(1) The court revokes or modifies it;
(2) A final divorce judgment or decree of judicial separation is entered; or
(3) The action is dismissed. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
3. Remedies.  The court may enforce a preliminary injunction issued pursuant to this section:
A. By finding a person who disobeys or resists the injunction in contempt of court; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
B. By requiring a person who disobeys or resists the injunction to pay the costs and attorney's fees that the other party incurred to enforce the preliminary injunction; or [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
C. By appropriate processes as in other actions. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
The remedies provided in this subsection for enforcement of a preliminary injunction are in addition to any other civil or criminal remedies available, including civil contempt of court. The use of one remedy does not prevent the simultaneous or subsequent use of any other remedy.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
4. Mutual order of protection or restraint.  Orders issued pursuant to this section do not supersede orders issued pursuant to chapter 101.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
5. Attachment of property; trustee process.  Attachment of real or personal property or on trustee process may be used in connection with an action for judicial separation.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1995, c. 694, B2 (NEW). 1995, c. 694, E2 (AFF). 1999, c. 731, ZZZ28 (AMD). 1999, c. 731, ZZZ42 (AFF).
Title 19-A: DOMESTIC RELATIONS HEADING: PL 1995, C. 694, PT. B, 2 (NEW); PT. E, 2 (AFF)
Part 2: MARRIED PERSONS HEADING: PL 1995, C. 694, PT. B, 2 (NEW); PT. E, 2 (AFF)
Chapter 29: DIVORCE HEADING: PL 1995, C. 694, PT. B, 2 (NEW); PT. E, 2 (AFF)
Subchapter 1: GROUNDS AND PROCEDURES HEADING: PL 1995, C. 694, PT. B, 2 (NEW); PT. E, 2 (AFF)

901. Action for divorce; procedures

1. Filing of complaint; grounds.  A person seeking a divorce may file a complaint for divorce in the District Court if:
A. The plaintiff has resided in good faith in this State for 6 months prior to the commencement of the action; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
B. The plaintiff is a resident of this State and the parties were married in this State; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
C. The plaintiff is a resident of this State and the parties resided in this State when the cause of divorce accrued; or [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
D. The defendant is a resident of this State. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
The complaint must state one or more grounds listed in section 902, subsection 1.
[ 1999, c. 731, Pt. ZZZ, 29 (AMD); 1999, c. 731, Pt. ZZZ, 42 (AFF) .]
2. Guardian ad litem.  If the alleged cause is that one of the parties is an incapacitated person, as provided in section 902, subsection 1, paragraph J, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the incapacitated person.
[ 2005, c. 594, 1 (AMD) .]
3. Exclusion of public.  In a divorce action, at the request of either party, personally or through that party's attorney, unless the other party who has entered an appearance objects personally or through that other party's attorney, the court shall exclude the public from the court proceedings.
If the court orders that the public is to be excluded, only the parties, their attorneys, court officers and witnesses may be present.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
4. Corroborating witness not required.  When the merits of a divorce action are not contested, whether or not an answer has been filed, there is no requirement that the testimony of the complaining party be corroborated by witnesses.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
5. Fraud.  The court may not grant a divorce when the parties seek to procure a divorce for fraudulent purposes.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
6. Attorney's fees and costs.  Attorney's fees awarded in the nature of support may be made payable immediately or in installments.
[ 2005, c. 323, 4 (AMD) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1995, c. 694, B2 (NEW). 1995, c. 694, E2 (AFF). 1999, c. 731, ZZZ29 (AMD). 1999, c. 731, ZZZ42 (AFF). 2005, c. 323, 4 (AMD). 2005, c. 594, 1 (AMD).

902. Grounds; defenses

1. Grounds.  A divorce may be granted for one of the following causes:
A. Adultery; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
B. Impotence; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
C. Extreme cruelty; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
D. Utter desertion continued for 3 consecutive years prior to the commencement of the action; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
E. Gross and confirmed habits of intoxication from the use of liquor or drugs; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
F. Nonsupport, when one spouse has sufficient ability to provide for the other spouse and grossly, wantonly or cruelly refuses or neglects to provide suitable maintenance for the complaining spouse; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
G. Cruel and abusive treatment; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
H. Irreconcilable marital differences; or [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
I. [2005, c. 594, 2 (RP).]
J. A judicial determination has been made that one of the parties is an incapacitated person, as defined in Title 18-A, section 5-101, for whom a guardian with full powers has been appointed, other than a temporary guardian appointed pursuant to Title 18-A, section 5-310-A. [2005, c. 594, 3 (NEW).]
[ 2005, c. 594, 2, 3 (AMD) .]
2. Irreconcilable differences; counseling.  If one party alleges that there are irreconcilable marital differences and the opposing party denies that allegation, the court upon its own motion or upon motion of either party may continue the case and require both parties to receive counseling by a qualified professional counselor to be selected either by agreement of the parties or by the court. The counselor shall give a written report of the counseling to the court and to both parties. The failure or refusal of the party who denies irreconcilable marital differences to submit to counseling without good reason is prima facie evidence that the marital differences are irreconcilable.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
3. Recrimination.  Recrimination is a comparative rather than an absolute defense in a divorce action.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
4. Condonation.  Condonation of the parties is not an absolute defense to any action for divorce but is discretionary with the court.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1995, c. 694, B2 (NEW). 1995, c. 694, E2 (AFF). 2005, c. 594, 2,3 (AMD).

903. Preliminary injunction, effect; attachment or trustee process

1. Issue of preliminary injunction.  In all actions for divorce or for spousal or child support following divorce by a court that lacked personal jurisdiction over the absent spouse, the clerk of the court, pursuant to order of the District Court, shall issue a preliminary injunction in the following manner.
A. The preliminary injunction must bear the signature or facsimile signature of the clerk, be under the seal of the court, contain the name of the court and the names of the parties and state the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney. The preliminary injunction may be obtained in blank from the clerk and must be filled out by the plaintiff's attorney. The plaintiff's attorney is responsible for serving this preliminary injunction, along with the summons and complaint, on the defendant. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
B. The preliminary injunction must be directed to each party to the action and must contain the following orders:
(1) That each party is enjoined from transferring, encumbering, concealing, selling or otherwise disposing of the property of either or both of the parties, except in the usual course of business or for the necessities of life, without the written consent of the parties or the permission of the court;
(2) That each party is enjoined from imposing restraint on the personal liberty of the other party or of a biological or adopted child of either or both of the parties; and
(3) That each party is enjoined from voluntarily removing the other party or a child of the parties from a policy of health insurance that provides coverage for the other party or the child of the parties. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
C. The preliminary injunction must include the following statement:
"Warning

This is an official court order. If you disobey this order the court may find you in contempt of court.

This court order is effective until the earliest of the following:

(1) The court revokes or modifies it;
(2) A final divorce judgment or decree of judicial separation is entered; or
(3) The action is dismissed." [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
D. The preliminary injunction is effective against the plaintiff upon the commencement of the action and against the defendant upon service of a copy of both the complaint and order in accordance with the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure. The plaintiff is deemed to have accepted service of the plaintiff's copy of the preliminary injunction and to have actual notice of its contents by filing or causing the complaint to be served. The plaintiff shall cause a copy of the preliminary injunction to be served upon the defendant with a copy of the summons and complaint. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
E. The preliminary injunction has the force and effect of an order of a Judge of the Probate Court or District Court or Justice of Superior Court and is enforceable by all remedies made available by law, including contempt of court. The order remains in effect until entry of a final decree, until the case is dismissed or until otherwise ordered by the court. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
[ 1999, c. 731, Pt. ZZZ, 30 (AMD); 1999, c. 731, Pt. ZZZ, 42 (AFF) .]
2. Revocation or modification.  A preliminary injunction may be revoked or modified after hearing for good cause shown. The party seeking to revoke or modify the preliminary injunction shall file a motion together with an affidavit that demonstrates the good cause necessary for revocation or modification.
A. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, on 7 days' notice to the other party or on shorter notice as the court may order, either party subject to an order may appear and move the dissolution or modification of the order, and in that event the court shall proceed to hear and determine the motion as expeditiously as justice requires. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
B. Mediation is not required before a hearing on a motion to revoke or modify a preliminary injunction except as directed by the court. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
C. A preliminary injunction does not prejudice the rights of the parties or a child that are to be adjudicated at subsequent hearings in the proceeding and does not limit the power of the court to issue other injunctive relief that may be proper under the circumstances. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
D. A preliminary injunction terminates when:
(1) The court revokes or modifies it;
(2) A final divorce judgment or decree of judicial separation is entered; or
(3) The action is dismissed. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
3. Remedies.  The court may enforce a preliminary injunction issued pursuant to this section:
A. By finding a person who disobeys or resists the injunction in contempt of court; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
B. By requiring a person who disobeys or resists the injunction to pay the costs and attorney's fees that the other party incurred to enforce the preliminary injunction; or [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
C. By appropriate processes as in other actions. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
The remedies provided in this subsection for enforcement of a preliminary injunction are in addition to any other civil or criminal remedies available, including civil contempt of court. The use of one remedy does not prevent the simultaneous or subsequent use of any other remedy.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
4. Mutual order of protection or restraint.  Orders issued pursuant to this section do not supersede orders issued pursuant to chapter 101.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
5. Attachment of property; trustee process.  Attachment of real or personal property or on trustee process may be used in connection with an action for divorce or spousal or child support following divorce by a court that lacked personal jurisdiction over the absent spouse.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
6. Application.  The injunction authorized in this section does not apply to post-divorce actions.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1995, c. 694, B2 (NEW). 1995, c. 694, E2 (AFF). 1999, c. 731, ZZZ30 (AMD). 1999, c. 731, ZZZ42 (AFF).

904. Orders pending divorce

In accordance with section 251, subsection 2, pending a divorce action, the court may: [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]

1. Attorney's fees. 
[ 2005, c. 323, 5 (RP) .]
2. Support.  Make reasonable provision for either spouse's separate support;
[ 2005, c. 323, 6 (AMD) .]
3. Minor children.  Enter an order for the parental rights and responsibilities with respect to the minor children of the parties in accordance with chapter 55;
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
4. Enforcement.  Enforce obedience by appropriate processes;
[ 2005, c. 323, 6 (AMD) .]
5. Determine possession.  Determine the possession of owned or rented real and personal property pending the final divorce decree; or
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
6. Free from restraint.  On motion of either spouse, prohibit a spouse from imposing restraint on the moving spouse's personal liberty. This subsection does not preclude the court from incarcerating either spouse for nonpayment of child support, spousal support or attorney's fees in violation of a court order to do so.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1995, c. 694, B2 (NEW). 1995, c. 694, E2 (AFF). 2005, c. 323, 5,6 (AMD).

905. Investigation when custody of children involved

Whenever in a divorce action the custody of a minor child is involved, the court may request the department to investigate conditions and circumstances of the child and the child's parents. Upon completion of the investigation, the department shall submit a written report to the court and to counsel of record at least 3 days before the date of hearing. The report may not be further copied or distributed by anyone. A person who violates a provision of this section commits a civil violation for which a forfeiture of not more than $500 may be adjudged. Upon request of an interested party, the court shall require the person making the report to testify at the time of hearing. Whoever participates in making a report under this section or participates in a judicial proceeding as a result of the report is immune from civil or criminal liability, unless that person acted in bad faith or with malicious purpose. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]

If the court requests an investigation for purposes other than suspected abuse or neglect as defined in Title 22, chapter 1071, the court shall order either or both parties to pay to the department part or all of the costs of services under this chapter, unless the court has made a finding of inability to pay. Revenue from investigations or services provided under this chapter are dedicated to the department to defray the cost of these services. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]

SECTION HISTORY
1995, c. 694, B2 (NEW). 1995, c. 694, E2 (AFF).

906. Certain divorces validated

1. Writ of attachment.  All divorces already granted in this State on libels inserted in a writ of attachment, and otherwise valid except for the want of attachment nominal or otherwise upon the writ, are validated.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
2. Pendency of another claim.  All judgments or orders already entered granting a divorce, annulment, disposition of property under section 953 or former Title 19, section 722-A or other disposition, award or division of property incident upon a divorce or annulment, and otherwise final except for the pendency of another claim or counterclaim in the same action, are declared final, nonappealable and effective for all purposes as of the date of entry of the judgment or order. This subsection does not apply to any judgment for divorce, annulment or property disposition in which the appeal period, including any extensions, has commenced but has not expired as of June 30, 1981.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
3. Finalization.  In an action for divorce under section 902, the trial court may, upon motion for entry of final judgment during the pendency of the appeal period, grant a final judgment of annulment or divorce between the parties if the court expressly finds that there is not just cause for delay and entry of judgment will not prejudice the legal or equitable rights of a party during the pendency of an appeal. The filing of a motion under this subsection does not stay an award of child or spousal support or parental rights and responsibilities, except by order of the court under the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1995, c. 694, B2 (NEW). 1995, c. 694, E2 (AFF).

907. Out-of-state divorces

When residents of the State go out of the State for the purpose of obtaining a divorce for causes that occurred here while the parties lived here or that do not authorize a divorce here, and a divorce is thus obtained, the divorce is void in this State. In all other cases, a divorce decreed out of the State according to the law of the place, by a court having jurisdiction of the cause and of both parties, is valid here. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]

The validity of a custody determination contained in or ancillary to a valid divorce decree granted by another state is governed by the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]

SECTION HISTORY
1995, c. 694, B2 (NEW). 1995, c. 694, E2 (AFF).

908. Disclosure and recording of social security numbers

An individual who is a party to a divorce action must disclose that individual's social security number to the court. The social security number of any individual who is subject to a divorce decree must be placed in the court records relating to the decree. The record of an individual's social security number is confidential and is not open to the public. The court shall disclose an individual's social security number to the department for child support enforcement purposes. [1997, c. 537, 13 (NEW); 1997, c. 537, 62 (AFF).]

SECTION HISTORY
1997, c. 537, 13 (NEW). 1997, c. 537, 62 (AFF).

951-A. Spousal support

1. Statement by court.  An order granting, denying or modifying spousal support must state:
A. The type or types of support, if support is awarded; [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
B. The method or methods of payment, and the term and limitations imposed, if support is awarded; [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
C. If the support awarded is not, in whole or in part, subject to future modification; and [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
D. The factors relied upon by the court in arriving at its decision to award or deny spousal support, if the proceeding was contested. [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
[ 1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW) .]
2. Types of spousal support.  The court may, after consideration of all factors set forth in subsection 5, award or modify spousal support for one or more of the following reasons.
A. General support may be awarded to provide financial assistance to a spouse with substantially less income potential than the other spouse so that both spouses can maintain a reasonable standard of living after the divorce.
(1) There is a rebuttable presumption that general support may not be awarded if the parties were married for less than 10 years as of the date of the filing of the action for divorce. There is also a rebuttable presumption that general support may not be awarded for a term exceeding 1/2 the length of the marriage if the parties were married for at least 10 years but not more than 20 years as of the date of the filing of the action for divorce.
(2) If the court finds that a spousal support award based upon a presumption established by this paragraph would be inequitable or unjust, that finding is sufficient to rebut the applicable presumption. [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
B. Transitional support may be awarded to provide for a spouse's transitional needs, including, but not limited to:
(1) Short-term needs resulting from financial dislocations associated with the dissolution of the marriage; or
(2) Reentry or advancement in the work force, including, but not limited to, physical or emotional rehabilitation services, vocational training and education. [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
C. Reimbursement support may be awarded to achieve an equitable result in the overall dissolution of the parties' financial relationship in response to exceptional circumstances. Exceptional circumstances include, but are not limited to:
(1) Economic misconduct by a spouse; and
(2) Substantial contributions a spouse made towards the educational or occupational advancement of the other spouse during the marriage.
Reimbursement support may be awarded only if the court determines that the parties' financial circumstances do not permit the court to fully address equitable considerations through its distributive order pursuant to section 953. [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
D. Nominal support may be awarded to preserve the court's authority to grant spousal support in the future. [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
E. Interim support may be awarded to provide for a spouse's separate support during the pendency of an action for divorce or judicial separation. [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
[ 1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW) .]
3. Methods of payment; term and limitations.  The order must state the method or methods of payment that the court determines just, including, but not limited to, lump-sum and installment payments. The order must also state the term of and any limitations on the award that the court determines just, including, but not limited to:
A. A limit on any increases or decreases in the amount of support; [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
B. A limit on any increases or decreases in the term of support; [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
C. A limit on the method or methods of payment of support; [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
D. A limit on the payment of support related to the remarriage of the payee; and [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
E. A limit on the payment of support related to cohabitation by the payee. [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
[ 1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW) .]
4. Modification.  An award of spousal support is subject to modification when it appears that justice requires unless and to the extent the order awarding or modifying spousal support expressly states that the award, in whole or in part, is not subject to future modification.
[ 1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW) .]
5. Factors.  The court shall consider the following factors when determining an award of spousal support:
A. The length of the marriage; [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
B. The ability of each party to pay; [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
C. The age of each party; [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
D. The employment history and employment potential of each party; [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
E. The income history and income potential of each party; [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
F. The education and training of each party; [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
G. The provisions for retirement and health insurance benefits of each party; [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
H. The tax consequences of the division of marital property, including the tax consequences of the sale of the marital home, if applicable; [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
I. The health and disabilities of each party; [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
J. The tax consequences of a spousal support award; [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
K. The contributions of either party as homemaker; [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
L. The contributions of either party to the education or earning potential of the other party; [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
M. Economic misconduct by either party resulting in the diminution of marital property or income; [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
N. The standard of living of the parties during the marriage; [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
O. The ability of the party seeking support to become self-supporting within a reasonable period of time; [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
P. The effect of the following on a party's need for spousal support or a party's ability to pay spousal support:
(1) Actual or potential income from marital or nonmarital property awarded or set apart to each party as part of the court's distributive order pursuant to section 953; and
(2) Child support for the support of a minor child or children of the marriage pursuant to chapter 63; and [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
Q. Any other factors the court considers appropriate. [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
[ 1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW) .]
6. Enforcement.  The court may use all necessary legal provisions to enforce its decrees.
[ 1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW) .]
7. Real estate and other property; life insurance and other security.  The court may order part of the obligated party's real estate or other property, as well as the rents, profits or income from real estate or other property, to be assigned and set out to the other party for life or for such other period determined to be just. The court may also order the obligated party to maintain life insurance or to otherwise provide security for the payment of spousal support in the event the obligation may survive the obligated party's death.
[ 1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW) .]
8. Cessation upon death of payee or payor.  An order awarding, denying or modifying spousal support may provide that the award survives the death of the payee or payor, or both. Unless otherwise stated in the order awarding spousal support, the obligation to make any payment pursuant to this section ceases upon the death of either the payee or the payor with respect to any payment not yet due and owing as of the date of death.
[ 1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW) .]
9. Effect of no award or termination of spousal support.  A final judgment that does not award spousal support forever precludes such an award in that action. The complete termination of a spousal support award pursuant to the terms of the award or a final post-judgment order forever precludes the reinstatement of spousal support in that action.
[ 1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW) .]
10. Application.  This section applies to:
A. Orders granting or denying spousal support entered on or after September 1, 2000; and [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
B. The modification, termination and enforcement of orders granting spousal support entered on or after September 1, 2000. [1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW).]
[ 1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW) .]
11. Support while pending.  The trial court may make, modify or enforce an award of spousal support under this section while an action is pending, including while on appeal.
[ 2005, c. 594, 4 (NEW) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1999, c. 634, 3 (NEW). 2005, c. 594, 4 (AMD).

952. Payment of spousal support, fees and support

1. Definition.  As used in this section, "decree of spousal support, support or costs" means a decree or order:
A. For spousal support or payment of money instead of spousal support; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
B. For support of children; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
C. For support pending a divorce action; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
D. For payment of related attorney's fees; [2005, c. 323, 7 (AMD).]
E. For alteration of an existing decree or order for the custody or support of a child; or [2005, c. 323, 7 (AMD).]
F. For division and disposition of property ancillary to a divorce judgment, including, but not limited to, proceedings to effectuate a qualified domestic relations order; to reach, attach or liquidate property; or to quiet title. [2005, c. 323, 8 (NEW).]
[ 2005, c. 323, 7, 8 (AMD) .]
2. Order pending petition.  Pending a petition to enforce a decree of spousal support, support or costs and after notice and opportunity for a hearing, the court may order either spouse to pay to the other spouse or to the other spouse's attorney sufficient money for the prosecution of or defense against the petition.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
3. Attorney's fees.  Attorney's fees awarded in the nature of support may be made payable immediately or in installments.
[ 2005, c. 323, 9 (AMD) .]
4. Enforcement.  The court may enforce an order as provided under chapter 65.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1995, c. 694, B2 (NEW). 1995, c. 694, E2 (AFF). 2005, c. 323, 7-9 (AMD).

953. Disposition of property

1. Disposition.  In a proceeding for a divorce, for legal separation or for disposition of property following dissolution of the marriage by a court that lacked personal jurisdiction over the absent spouse or lacked jurisdiction to dispose of the property, 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:
A. The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property, including the contribution of a spouse as homemaker; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
B. The value of the property set apart to each spouse; and [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
C. 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. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
2. Definition.  For purposes of this section, "marital property" means all property acquired by either spouse subsequent to the marriage, except:
A. Property acquired by gift, bequest, devise or descent; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
B. Property acquired in exchange for property acquired prior to the marriage or in exchange for property acquired by gift, bequest, devise or descent; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
C. Property acquired by a spouse after a decree of legal separation; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
D. Property excluded by valid agreement of the parties; and [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
E. The increase in value of property acquired prior to the marriage and the increase in value of a spouse's nonmarital property as defined in paragraphs A to D.
(1) "Increase in value" includes:
(a) Appreciation resulting from market forces; and
(b) Appreciation resulting from reinvested income and capital gain unless either or both spouses had a substantial active role during the marriage in managing, preserving or improving the property.
(2) "Increase in value" does not include:
(a) Appreciation resulting from the investment of marital funds or property in the nonmarital property;
(b) Appreciation resulting from marital labor; and
(c) Appreciation resulting from reinvested income and capital gain if either or both spouses had a substantial active role during the marriage in managing, preserving or improving the property. [1999, c. 665, 1 (AMD); 1999, c. 665, 2 (AFF).]
[ 1999, c. 665, 1 (AMD); 1999, c. 665, 2 (AFF) .]
3. Acquired subsequent to marriage.  All property acquired by either spouse subsequent to the marriage and prior to a decree of legal separation is presumed to be marital property regardless of whether title is held individually or by the spouses in some form of coownership such as joint tenancy, tenancy in common, tenancy by the entirety or community property. The presumption of marital property is overcome by a showing that the property was acquired by a method listed in subsection 2.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
4. Disposition of marital property.  If both parties to a divorce action also request the court in writing to order disposition of marital property acquired by either or both of the parties to the divorce prior to January 1, 1972, or nonmarital property owned by the parties to the divorce action, the court shall also order disposition in accordance with subsection 1.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
5. Decree contents.  If the final divorce decree disposes of real property, it must name the party or parties responsible for preparing and recording the decree of divorce or abstract of the decree and paying the recording fee after the clerk has prepared or approved the abstract. The decree may name different parties to be responsible for different parcels.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
6. Nonowner spouse claims.  Notwithstanding the actual notice provisions of Title 14, section 4455 or any other laws, a claim of a nonowner spouse to real estate as "marital property," as defined in this section, does not affect title to the real estate of the owner spouse until the nonowner spouse records in the appropriate registry of deeds either:
A. A copy of the divorce complaint as filed in court; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
B. A clerk's certificate of the divorce complaint, as described in Title 14, section 4455, subsection 2; or [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
C. A decree or abstract of the decree as described in this section. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
This recording requirement applies to all divorce proceedings in this State or in any other jurisdiction.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
6-A. Nonowner spouse interest in certain payments or accounts.  After the filing of a divorce complaint under section 901, a nonowner spouse has an inchoate equitable ownership interest, without the need to obtain an attachment, levy or court order, in the individual retirement account or similar plan or contract on account of illness, disability, death, age or length of service of the owner spouse, to the extent the account or plan is either exempt or beyond the reach of an attaching or judgment lien creditor under state or federal law.
[ 2005, c. 298, 1 (NEW) .]
7. Decree or abstract as deed.  All rights acquired under former Title 19, section 721 or 723 on or before December 31, 1971 and all rights acquired under this section by a party in the real estate of the other party are effective against a person when the decree of divorce or an abstract of the decree is filed in the registry of deeds for the county or registry district where the real estate is situated. The decree or abstract, at a minimum, must contain:
A. The caption of the case, including the names of the parties, and any changes to the parties' names after the decree; [2003, c. 18, 1 (NEW).]
B. The date the judgment is final and the court that issued the decree; [2003, c. 18, 1 (NEW).]
C. An adequate description of the real estate, such as by reference to the volume and page number of an instrument recorded in the registry of deeds or the probate court record, or an adequate description by metes and bounds or by reference to the volume and page number of the registry of deeds' records of a survey plan of the property; [2003, c. 18, 1 (NEW).]
D. Any provision of the decree intended by the court to constitute an encumbrance against real estate, including any conditions pertaining to the encumbrance, in the verbatim language used by the court. If the abstract does not contain the provision required by this paragraph, an encumbrance may not be considered effective against a 3rd party unless the encumbrance has been memorialized in a separate, duly recorded instrument; and [2003, c. 18, 1 (NEW).]
E. A clear statement of the ownership interest of the parties in the real estate intended by the court to result from that decree. [2003, c. 18, 1 (NEW).]
An inconsequential failure to provide all the details required pursuant to paragraphs A to E does not create an invalid abstract for purposes of this section.
The failure of a party to record the decree or an abstract of the decree within a time period prescribed by former Title 19, section 725 does not affect the rights of that party as against the other party or the other party's heirs or devisees. The recording of the decree or abstract of the decree has the force and effect of a quitclaim deed releasing all interest in the real estate described in the decree or abstract of the decree, whether the interest is in fee or by statute.
[ 2003, c. 18, 1 (RPR) .]
8. Out-of-state divorce decrees.  When a divorce has been granted out of the State, the plaintiff, or the plaintiff's attorney, shall cause a duly authenticated copy of the order to be recorded with the register of deeds in each of the counties where the real estate or any part of the real estate is situated. The appropriate recording fee must be paid prior to the recording.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
9. Omitted property.  If a final divorce decree fails to set apart or divide marital property over which the court had jurisdiction, the omitted property is deemed held by both parties as tenants in common. On the motion of either party, the court may set aside or divide the omitted property between the parties, as justice may require.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1995, c. 694, B2 (NEW). 1995, c. 694, E2 (AFF). 1999, c. 665, 1 (AMD). 1999, c. 665, 2 (AFF). 2003, c. 18, 1 (AMD). 2005, c. 298, 1 (AMD).

954. Income withholding

1. Availability and establishment of income withholding.  Spousal support orders issued or modified by the courts in this State must have a provision for the withholding of income to ensure that withholding as a means of obtaining spousal support is available if arrearages occur. Except as provided in chapter 65, subchapter IV, income withholding against all spousal support obligations ordered by a court within the State must be implemented as follows.
A. New orders of spousal support must include a provision withholding the amount of spousal support from the income, regardless of the source, of the person obligated to pay the support. If an existing order of alimony or spousal support does not include a withholding order, the obligee may file a motion to amend the spousal support order to include an order for withholding, which the court shall grant. [1997, c. 433, 1 (NEW); 1997, c. 433, 2 (AFF).]
B. Each order for withholding must provide for a conspicuous notice to the obligor that withholding may result if the obligor fails to make the spousal support payments and that no withholding may be made until the following conditions are met:
(1) Either the obligor requests that income withholding be implemented or the obligee determines that the payments the obligor has failed to make under the spousal support order are at least equal to the amount payable for one month;
(2) The obligee serves written notice of the amount of arrearage upon the obligor and informs the obligor that the obligee has procured a court order for income withholding;
(3) The obligee mails a copy of the determination of arrearage and a copy of the court's withholding order to the payor of funds;
(4) The obligee mails to the Department of Health and Human Services a copy of the determination of arrearage and a copy of the court's withholding order to enable the department to proceed pursuant to subsection 2; and
(5) The obligor has a 20-day period, after receiving the notice pursuant to subparagraph (2), to file a motion for determination of arrearages with respect to the amount of spousal support owed and to simultaneously request an ex parte stay of service on the payor of funds until the motion for determination is heard. Any stay issued by the court under this subsection expires in 60 days and may be reissued only upon a showing by the obligor that the obligor has made reasonable efforts to obtain a hearing on the motion for determination of arrearages during the effective period of the stay. [1997, c. 433, 1 (NEW); 1997, c. 433, 2 (AFF); 2003, c. 689, Pt. B, 6 (REV).]
C. An order modifying the amount of spousal support issued after a hearing on a motion to modify spousal support may provide that payments be made outright by withholding. If so, paragraph B does not apply. [1997, c. 433, 1 (NEW); 1997, c. 433, 2 (AFF).]
D. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the withholding order is binding on the payor of funds once service has been made upon the payor. The payor is liable for any amounts the payor fails to withhold after receiving notice. The payor shall withhold from the income payable to the obligor the amount specified in the order and shall monthly or more frequently remit the amounts withheld to the department. The payor may withhold a $2 processing fee in addition to the amount withheld for support. The amount withheld may not exceed the limitations imposed by section 2356 or by 15 United States Code, Section 1673. An employer who, in contravention of this section, discharges from employment, refuses to employ or takes disciplinary action against any obligor because of the existence of an order and the obligations or additional obligations that it imposes upon the employer is subject to a fine in an amount not to exceed $5,000. [1997, c. 433, 1 (NEW); 1997, c. 433, 2 (AFF).]
E. When a withholding order is in effect and the obligor's employment is terminated or the periodic payment terminates, the obligor's employer or other payor of funds shall notify the department of the termination within 30 days of the termination date. The notice must include the obligor's home address and the name and address of the obligor's new employer or payor of funds, if known. [1997, c. 433, 1 (NEW); 1997, c. 433, 2 (AFF).]
F. The order of withholding with regard to a current support obligation must be terminated if:
(1) The department is unable to forward funds to the obligee for 3 months; or
(2) The spousal support obligation has been eliminated by a subsequent court order.
A termination may not occur while an arrearage remains unless other provisions for its repayment have been made. [1997, c. 433, 1 (NEW); 1997, c. 433, 2 (AFF).]
If the department is unable to forward the funds to the obligee for 3 months the funds must be returned to the obligor and notice must be given to the obligor's employer or other payor to cease withholding.
[ 1997, c. 433, 1 (NEW); 1997, c. 433, 2 (AFF); 2003, c. 689, Pt. B, 6 (REV) .]
2. Department designated as administering agency.  The department is designated as the agency responsible for adopting and administering procedures to receive, record and disburse all spousal support payments collected pursuant to this section.
[ 1997, c. 433, 1 (NEW); 1997, c. 433, 2 (AFF) .]
3. Liability of payor to obligee.  An obligee may maintain an action for compensatory damages, including attorney's fees and court costs, against a payor who knowingly fails to comply with this section.
[ 1997, c. 433, 1 (NEW); 1997, c. 433, 2 (AFF) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1997, c. 433, 1 (NEW). 1997, c. 433, 2 (AFF). 2003, c. 689, B6 (REV).
Chapter 63: CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES HEADING: PL 1995, C. 694, PT. B, 2 (NEW); PT. E, 2 (AFF)

2001. Definitions

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]

1. Basic support entitlement.  "Basic support entitlement" means the sum derived from the child support table appropriate to the age of each child and the parties' gross income.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
2. Child care costs.  "Child care costs" means the actual child care costs incurred by the parties for each child for whom support is being established that are related to that party's employment, education or training and are reasonable or customary in the area in which that party resides.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
3. Child support table.  "Child support table" means the schedule that has been adopted by the department under section 2011.
[ 2001, c. 554, 8 (AMD) .]
3-A. Enhanced support entitlement.  "Enhanced support entitlement" means the basic support entitlement multiplied by a factor of 1.5.
[ 2003, c. 415, 1 (NEW) .]
4. Extraordinary medical expenses.  "Extraordinary medical expenses" means recurring, uninsured medical expenses in excess of $250 per child or group of children per calendar year that can reasonably be predicted by the court or hearing officer at the time of establishment or modification of a support order. Responsibility for nonrecurring or subsequently occurring uninsured medical expenses in excess of $250 in the aggregate per child or group of children supported per calendar year must be divided between the parties in proportion to their adjusted gross incomes. These expenses include, but are not limited to, insurance copayments and deductibles, reasonable and necessary costs for orthodontia, dental treatment, eye care, eyeglasses, prescriptions, asthma treatment, physical therapy, chronic health problems and professional counseling or psychiatric therapy for diagnosed mental disorders.
[ 2001, c. 554, 9 (AMD) .]
5. Gross income.  "Gross income" means gross income of a party as follows.
A. Gross income includes income from an ongoing source, including, but not limited to, salaries, wages, commissions, royalties, bonuses, dividends, severance pay, pensions, interest, trust funds, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits, disability insurance benefits, prizes, workers' compensation benefits, spousal support actually received pursuant to a preexisting order from a spouse who is not the parent of the child for whom support is being determined and educational grants, fellowships or subsidies that are available for personal living expenses. Gross income does not include child support or permanency guardianship subsidies received by either party for children other than the child for whom support is being determined. [2007, c. 284, 5 (AMD).]
B. Gross income includes expense reimbursements or in-kind payments received by a party in the course of employment or self-employment or operation of a business if the expense reimbursements or in-kind payments reduce personal living expenses. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
C. Gross income includes gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses when a party is self-employed or derives income from proprietorship of a business, joint ownership of a partnership or a closely held business operation, and rents minus ordinary and necessary expenses. At the discretion of the court, amounts allowable by the United States Internal Revenue Service for the accelerated component of depreciation expenses or investment tax credits may or may not be treated as ordinary and necessary expenses. The court may also determine that other business expenses, including, but not limited to, business losses, are inappropriate for determining gross income for purposes of calculating child support. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
D. Gross income may include the difference between the amount a party is earning and that party's earning capacity when the party voluntarily becomes or remains unemployed or underemployed, if sufficient evidence is introduced concerning a party's current earning capacity. In the absence of evidence in the record to the contrary, a party that is personally providing primary care for a child under the age of 3 years is deemed not available for employment. The court shall consider anticipated child care and other work-related expenses in determining whether to impute income, or how much income to impute, to a party providing primary care to a child between the ages of 3 and 12 years. A party who is incarcerated in a correctional or penal institution is deemed available only for employment that is available through such institutions. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
E. Gross income of an obligor does not include the amount of a preexisting spousal support obligation to a former spouse who is not the parent of the child for whom support is being determined , a preexisting child support obligation pursuant to court or administrative order, or an appropriate amount of preexisting child support being voluntarily paid by a party who has a legal obligation to support that child. [2009, c. 290, 7 (AMD).]
F. [2001, c. 264, 2 (RP).]
G. Gross income does not include the amount of money received from means-tested public assistance programs, including, but not limited to, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, supplemental security income, food stamps and general assistance. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF); 1997, c. 530, Pt. A, 34 (AMD).]
[ 2007, c. 284, 5 (AMD); 2009, c. 290, 7 (AMD) .]
5-A. Health plan. 
[ 2009, c. 290, 8 (RP) .]
5-B. Medical care costs. 
[ 2009, c. 290, 9 (RP) .]
5-C. Medical support. 
[ 2009, c. 290, 10 (RP) .]
6. Parental support obligation.  "Parental support obligation" means the portion of total basic or enhanced support obligation a party is ordered to pay in money as child support.
[ 2003, c. 415, 2 (AMD) .]
7. Primary residence.  "Primary residence" means the residence of a child where that child receives residential care for more than 50% of the time on an annual basis if the parents do not provide substantially equal care as defined in subsection 8-A.
[ 2003, c. 415, 2 (AMD) .]
8. Primary residential care provider.  "Primary residential care provider" means the party who provides residential care for a child for more than 50% of the time on an annual basis if the parents do not provide substantially equal care as defined in subsection 8-A.
[ 2003, c. 415, 2 (AMD) .]
8-A. Substantially equal care.  "Substantially equal care" means that both parents participate substantially equally in the child's total care, which may include, but is not limited to, the child's residential, educational, recreational, child care and medical, dental and mental health care needs.
[ 2003, c. 415, 3 (NEW) .]
9. Support guidelines.  "Support guidelines" means the child support table and the criteria for application of the table set forth in section 2006.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
10. Total basic support obligation.  "Total basic support obligation" means the sum of money determined by adding the basic support entitlement, child care costs, extraordinary medical expenses and health insurance premiums.
[ 2003, c. 415, 4 (AMD) .]
10-A. Total enhanced support obligation.  "Total enhanced support obligation" means the sum of money determined by calculating the enhanced support entitlement. "Total enhanced support obligation" does not include child care costs, extraordinary medical expenses and health insurance premiums.
[ 2003, c. 415, 5 (NEW) .]
11. Twelve through 17 years; between the ages of 12 and 18 years.  The age categories "12 through 17 years" and "between the ages of 12 and 18 years" as used in the child support table and elsewhere in the support guidelines are deemed to include a child between 18 and 19 years of age who is attending a secondary school for whom an obligation of support is established or deemed to remain in force pursuant to Public Law 1989, chapter 156.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1995, c. 694, B2 (NEW). 1995, c. 694, E2 (AFF). 1997, c. 530, A34 (AMD). 2001, c. 264, 1,2 (AMD). 2001, c. 554, 8,9 (AMD). 2003, c. 123, 1 (AMD). 2003, c. 415, 1-5 (AMD). 2007, c. 284, 5 (AMD). 2007, c. 448, 1-3 (AMD). 2009, c. 290, 7-10 (AMD).

2002. Application

Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, this chapter applies to a court action or administrative proceeding in which a child support order is issued or modified under Title 18-A, section 5-204, this Title or Title 22 and to any court action or administrative proceeding in which past support is awarded. [1999, c. 46, 2 (AMD).]

SECTION HISTORY
1995, c. 694, B2 (NEW). 1995, c. 694, E2 (AFF). 1999, c. 46, 2 (AMD).

2003. Forms

For the purposes of this chapter, the Supreme Judicial Court is authorized to prescribe or revise forms by administrative order or rule. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]

SECTION HISTORY
1995, c. 694, B2 (NEW). 1995, c. 694, E2 (AFF).

2004. Income information and child support worksheets

1. Court actions.  This subsection governs the exchange and filing of income affidavits, child support worksheets and supporting documentation in court actions.
A. In a court action to determine or modify support of a minor child, the plaintiff and defendant shall exchange, prior to mediation, affidavits regarding income and assets. These affidavits must conform with the forms provided by the court and must be accompanied by supporting documentation of current income, such as pay stubs, tax returns, employer statements or, if the plaintiff or defendant is self-employed, receipts and expenses. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
B. The parties shall exchange prior to the commencement of mediation a completed child support worksheet. The worksheet must be completed in accordance with the support guidelines. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
C. At least 3 days prior to a court hearing, whether contested or uncontested, the parties shall file with the court and exchange, if they have not already done so, the completed affidavits and child support worksheets. The parties are not required to file with the court the supporting documentation. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
D. If a party fails to comply with this subsection, the court may, in its discretion:
(1) Impose economic sanctions; or
(2) Presume for the purpose of determining a current support obligation that the party has an earning capacity equal to the average weekly wage of a worker in this State as determined by the most recent Department of Labor statistics. A different annual income may be used if there is sufficient reliable evidence to conclude reasonably that the noncomplying party earns a greater or lesser actual income. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
E. The court may admit Department of Labor statistics into evidence for purposes of computing a parental support obligation. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
2. Administrative proceedings.  The department shall adopt rules regarding the provision of information necessary to apply the child support guidelines in administrative proceedings.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1995, c. 694, B2 (NEW). 1995, c. 694, E2 (AFF).

2005. Rebuttable presumption

In a proceeding to establish or modify child support or to establish an award for past support, there is a rebuttable presumption that the parental support obligation derived from the support guidelines is the amount ordered to be paid, unless support is established under section 2006, subsection 5 or section 2007. The court or hearing officer shall review the adequacy of a child support amount agreed to by the parties with reference to the parental support obligation. [2003, c. 415, 6 (AMD).]

SECTION HISTORY
1995, c. 694, B2 (NEW). 1995, c. 694, E2 (AFF). 2003, c. 415, 6 (AMD).

2007. Deviation from child support guidelines

1. Rebutting presumption.  If the court or hearing officer finds that a child support order based on the support guidelines would be inequitable or unjust due to one or more of the considerations listed under subsection 3, that finding is sufficient to rebut the presumption established in section 2005.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
2. Proposed findings.  A party in a court action proposing deviation from the application of the support guidelines shall provide the court with written proposed findings showing that the application of the presumptive amount would be inequitable or unjust.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
3. Criteria for deviating from support guidelines.  Criteria that may justify deviation from the support guidelines are as follows:
A. The application of section 2006, subsection 5, paragraph D or D-1 would be unjust, inequitable or not in the child's best interest; [2003, c. 415, 13 (RPR).]
B. The number of children for whom support is being determined is greater than 6; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
C. The interrelation of the total support obligation established under the support guidelines for child support, the division of property and an award of spousal support made in the same proceeding for which a parental support obligation is being determined; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
D. The financial resources of each child; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
E. The financial resources and needs of a party, including nonrecurring income not included in the definition of gross income; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
F. The standard of living each child would have enjoyed had the marital relationship continued; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
G. The physical and emotional conditions of each child; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
H. The educational needs of each child; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
I. Inflation with relation to the cost of living; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
J. Available income and financial contributions of the domestic associate or current spouse of each party; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
K. The existence of other persons who are actually financially dependent on either party, including, but not limited to, elderly, disabled or infirm relatives, or adult children pursuing post-secondary education. If the primary care provider is legally responsible for another minor child who resides in the household and if the computation of a theoretical support obligation on behalf of the primary care provider would result in a significantly greater parental support obligation on the part of the nonprimary care provider, that factor may be considered; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
L. The tax consequences if the obligor is awarded any tax benefits. In determining the allocation of tax exemptions for children, the court may consider which party will have the greatest benefit from receiving the allocation; [2001, c. 264, 8 (AMD).]
M. [2001, c. 264, 9 (RP).]
N. The fact that income at a reasonable rate of return may be imputed to nonincome-producing assets with an aggregate fair market value of $10,000 or more, other than an ordinary residence or other asset from which each child derives a substantial benefit; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
O. The existence of special circumstances regarding a child 12 years of age or older, for the child's best interest, requires that the primary residential care provider continue to provide for employment-related day care; [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
P. An obligor party's substantial financial obligation regarding the costs of transportation of each child for purposes of parent and child contact. To be considered substantial, the transportation costs must exceed 15% of the yearly support obligation; and [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
Q. A finding by the court or hearing officer that the application of the support guidelines would be unjust, inappropriate or not in the child's best interest. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]
[ 2003, c. 415, 13 (AMD) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1995, c. 694, B2 (NEW). 1995, c. 694, E2 (AFF). 2001, c. 264, 8,9 (AMD). 2003, c. 415, 13 (AMD).

2008. Stipulation

A stipulation of the parties establishing child support must be reviewed by the court or hearing officer to determine if the amount stipulated is in substantial compliance with the presumptive application of the guidelines and, if a deviation is proposed, whether it is justified and appropriate under section 2007. The court or hearing officer shall review a proposed order that gives the stipulation effect to determine its compliance with this section. [1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF).]

SECTION HISTORY
1995, c. 694, B2 (NEW). 1995, c. 694, E2 (AFF).

2009. Modification of existing support orders

1. Motion to modify support.  A party, including the department, may file a motion to modify support. The commissioner may designate employees of the department who are not attorneys to represent the department in court proceedings to hear a motion to modify support filed by the department or any other party. Unless a party also files a motion to amend the divorce judgment, a petition to amend under section 1653, subsection 10 or a motion for judicial review under Title 22, section 4038, the child support obligation is the sole issue to be determined by the court on a motion to modify support. The court, in its discretion, may bifurcate the support issue from other issues presented by the party's pleadings.
[ 2005, c. 352, 6 (AMD) .]
1-A. Motion to modify by department.  When a parent receives public assistance for the benefit of a dependent child, the department may file a motion to modify support regardless of whether the parent has been allocated the primary residential care of the dependent child pursuant to chapter 55.
[ 2009, c. 290, 17 (NEW) .]
2. Retroactive.  Child support orders may be modified retroactively but only from the date that notice of a petition for modification has been served upon the opposing party, pursuant to the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
3. Substantial change of circumstances because of variance.  If a child support order varies more than 15% from a parental support obligation determined under section 2006, the court or hearing officer shall consider the variation a substantial change of circumstances and if it has been less than 3 years since the order was issued or modified, the court or hearing officer shall modify the order according to the child support guidelines under chapter 63. If it has been 3 years or longer since the order was issued or modified, the court or hearing officer shall review the order without requiring proof or showing of a change of circumstances and shall modify the order if the amount of the child support award under the order differs from the amount that would be awarded under the guidelines. If a child support order was established under section 2007, a 15% variation between the amount of the order and the parental support obligation determined under section 2006 does not constitute a substantial change of circumstances.
[ 1997, c. 537, 24 (AMD); 1997, c. 537, 62 (AFF) .]
4. Service. 
[ 2009, c. 290, 18 (RP) .]
4-A. Service.  Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, service of a motion to modify support must be made in the manner provided for service of summons by the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4. For the purpose of this subsection, this service must be deemed to be an action pursuant to Chapter XIII of the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure. When the department is providing child support services, personal service within the State of a motion to modify support may be made by authorized representatives of the commissioner. Service of the motion must be accompanied by:
A. A notice that the court may enter an order without hearing if the party does not request a hearing; [2009, c. 290, 19 (NEW).]
B. A notice of the right to request a hearing; [2009, c. 290, 19 (NEW).]
C. A notice of the requirement of mediation prior to a hearing; [2009, c. 290, 19 (NEW).]
D. The income affidavit of the moving party or the party receiving the assistance of the department, as well as the responding party's affidavit, if available; [2009, c. 290, 19 (NEW).]
E. A proposed order, incorporating the child support worksheet; and [2009, c. 290, 19 (NEW).]
F. Any stipulation entered into by the parties. [2009, c. 290, 19 (NEW).]
[ 2009, c. 290, 19 (NEW) .]
5. Request for hearing.  A request for hearing must be made in writing within 30 days of receipt of service and be accompanied by the requesting party's income affidavit and child support worksheet. If a party requests a hearing, the matter must be referred for mediation prior to trial.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
6. Order without hearing.  If a party does not request a hearing within 30 days after service, the court may enter an order modifying support without hearing using the proposed order, as long as the proposed modified support obligation is equal to or greater than the obligation resulting from the application of section 2005. If a downward deviation is proposed, the court shall hold a hearing prior to entering an order. The court may apply the presumptions set out in section 2004, subsection 1, paragraph D.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
7. Motion to set aside.  An order entered without hearing pursuant to this section may not be set aside except on motion in which the moving party demonstrates good cause for the failure to request a hearing and a meritorious defense to the proposed order. The Chief Justice may establish costs to be paid by a party moving to set aside an order modifying child support after an order has been entered following that party's failure to file a timely written response.
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, 2 (AFF) .]
8. Motions by department.  When the department provides child support enforcement services, the commissioner may designate employees of the department who are not attorneys to prepare motions under this section, to file those motions in District Court and to represent the department in court if a hearing is held. The commissioner shall ensure that appropriate training is provided to all employees who are designated to represent the department under this section.
[ 1997, c. 466, 4 (NEW); 1997, c. 466, 28 (AFF) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1995, c. 694, B2 (NEW). 1995, c. 694, E2 (AFF). 1997, c. 466, 4 (AMD). 1997, c. 537, 24 (AMD). 1997, c. 466, 28 (AFF). 1997, c. 537, 62 (AFF). 2005, c. 352, 6 (AMD). 2009, c. 290, 17-19 (AMD).

2011. Child support table established

The department, in consultation with the Supreme Judicial Court and interested parties, shall adopt rules in accordance with Title 5, chapter 375, establishing a child support table that reflects the percentage of combined gross income that parents living in the same household in this State ordinarily spend on their children. Rules adopted pursuant to this section are routine technical rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter II-A. [2001, c. 554, 11 (NEW).]

SECTION HISTORY
2001, c. 554, 11 (NEW).

2012. Medical support

The department, after consultation with the Supreme Judicial Court and interested parties, shall adopt rules in accordance with Title 5, chapter 375 establishing medical support. Rules adopted pursuant to this section are routine technical rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A. [2007, c. 448, 4 (NEW).]

SECTION HISTORY
2007, c. 448, 4 (NEW).

(Make sure to consult a lawyer or check your local laws for any changes.)

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