Steve and Renee were great to work with! Very professional and realistic. Gave no false expectations or predictions. They communicated everything to us in a timely manner. We will definitely use them again if ever needed! Thank you, Steve and your team!


For my family law case, Steve Smith had a very strong presence and was dominant in the courtroom. The manner in which he carries out cases is something you see in the movies. He was really animated and passionate about my case. His military background is a big asset, and he really helped me out. I would highly recommend him.


We hired Leah M. Baldacci for a family law case and she was so extremely helpful and got me through my case. She’s very professional and takes the time to listen to her clients. She’s a wonderful advocate and a fantastic attorney. If you’re looking for a great attorney, I recommend Leah. Thank you so much for your legal help.

Anonymous Client

I’ve hired Steve for two cases, and I am very pleased with my decision. He fights for his clients and strives for the best outcome. His entire staff is pleasant and wonderful to work with.


I hired Steve for a parental rights case involving my 2 children. He was aggressive but supportive and did not file unnecessary motions that wasted my retainer. I was terrified of court, but with his experience, I felt at ease. The process was explained, and his staff was great as well. I would hire him again if needed and received a great outcome with an order that works for me and my children.

Handled my Parental Rights Case with Ease



Frequently Answered Questions About Divorce And Family Law

Should I Choose A Fault-Based Or No-Fault Divorce?

The majority of divorces in Maine are considered no-fault. This means that either spouse can file for divorce and there is no need to prove one spouse was at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. In a no-fault divorce, the spouse that files for divorce only has to state that there were irreconcilable differences and that there is very little chance that the spouses will resolve their issues and get back together.


Maine does also allow for filing an at-fault divorce in which one spouse accuses the other of misconduct that resulted in the breakdown of the marriage. There are some limited instances in which filing on grounds of fault is advantageous. It is important to discuss this decision with a qualified divorce attorney before filing.


What Is Considered Grounds For An At-Fault Divorce in Maine?

In addition to irreconcilable differences, there are eight recognized grounds for divorce in Maine. These include:


  • Adultery
  • Impotence
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Desertion for a minimum of 3 years prior to filing
  • Confirmed and habitual abuse of drugs or alcohol
  • Treatment that is cruel and abusive
  • Refusal to provide support when the spouse has adequate means to do so
  • Mental illness or incapacitation that requires a court-appointed guardian
Are There Benefits To An Uncontested Divorce?

When both spouses agree to all of the terms of the divorce, including property division, parenting time, child support, and more, this is known as an uncontested divorce. The spouses may come to an agreement on their own, or they may undergo a collaborative divorce or mediation process. When the couple disagrees on any term, it then becomes a contested divorce.


Uncontested divorces are often quicker and less costly than contested divorces. This can make them a good choice for some couples. However, there are also times when litigating a contested divorce is the only way to adequately protect your rights and your future. Even in an uncontested divorce, your proposed settlement should be reviewed by an attorney prior to submitting it to the court.

What Are The Residency Requirements For Divorce In Maine?

One or both spouses must meet certain residency guidelines to file for divorce in Maine. To file for divorce, one of the following must be true:


  • You have lived in Maine for at least six months.
  • You are a resident of Maine, and you were married in Maine.
  • You are a resident of Maine, and both spouses resided in Maine when the grounds for divorce occurred.
  • Your spouse is a resident of Maine.
How Quickly Can I Get Divorced?

After you file all necessary paperwork to initiate the divorce, Maine requires a 60-day waiting period before a final hearing will be conducted. For an uncontested divorce, if the judge or magistrate accepts your proposed settlement, then a final order can be issued immediately, and this may be your only court appearance.


Remember, though, that some rights and assets are worth fighting for, and agreeing to a speedy but unfair divorce settlement could leave you in financial ruin for years. Consult with an experienced divorce attorney before making any hasty decisions based on emotion.

How Are Assets And Debts Divided In A Maine Divorce?

During divorce, if you and your spouse cannot decide on your own how to divide property and debts, then the court will make this determination for you. Generally, only property acquired during the divorce will be divided. This is known as marital property and can include anything from real estate and cars to pension plan accounts. Most property acquired before the marriage, as well as items received as a gift or inheritance, are considered non-marital property and will not be divided, but there are some exceptions.


The court will seek an equitable division of property and debts, but this does not necessarily mean everything will be divided equally. The court will consider many factors, including what each spouse contributed to the marital estate.

What Factors Do Courts Use To Determine Parental Rights?

Like most states, Maine uses a legal standard known as “best interest of the child” or “best interest factors” when determining each parent’s share of physical custody, parenting time, and decision making authority. These factors involve the child’s current living arrangement and relationships, and include, among other things:


  • The child’s age
  • The child’s current relationship with each parent
  • The stability of any proposed living arrangements
  • Each parent’s willingness and ability to support the child’s relationship with the other parent
  • Any history of domestic violence between the parents or abuse of the child
How Is Child Support Calculated?

In Maine child support amounts are calculated using a standard formula known as the Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations. In addition to the basic data in the schedule, the guidelines also take into account financial support the parent may already be providing to the child, each parent’s income, and any support paid to other children or former spouses.


Most support amounts will follow the guidelines, however it is possible to receive a different amount if your divorce attorney can show there is evidence to support the award. For example, a child with special medical needs may require more financial support than the guidelines suggest. It’s important to work with a legal team who can ensure that your family’s real needs are taken into account.

Will I Have To Pay Alimony If I Make More Than My Spouse?

Spousal support, formerly referred to as alimony, is money that one spouse must pay to the other as part of a divorce order. Maine recognizes several types of spousal support, and the amount awarded and length of support will vary depending on your unique circumstances. For example, interim spousal support is awarded only while the divorce is pending, and ends once a final order is entered. General support, on the other hand, may continue for years after the divorce is final, but is normally only awarded if a couple has been married for at least 10 years.


Spousal support is most common when one spouse makes significantly more than the other, but not always. Your attorney can help you negotiate for a support award that is fair and reasonable.

Can My Divorce Settlement Or Parental Rights Order Be Modified?

Maine courts recognize that as families grow and change, there may be good reason to modify an existing divorce or parental rights order. However, to receive a modification, you must prove to the court that there has been a “substantial change in circumstances.” Examples include a major change in one party’s financial situation, remarrying, or relocating with a child.


Even when a change in circumstances allows for requesting a modification, it may not always be the best course of action. For example, if your ex’s new income will only justify a small increase in child support, you will need to consider the cost and hassle of going back to court against the benefits of a modest increase in support. This is one more reason why it’s important to fight for a fair and just settlement right from the start.

How Can Our Divorce Attorneys Can Help With Your Case

No two divorces are created equal, and the process is not always the same. If you are considering divorce, or the process has already started, call the respected Maine divorce attorneys at STEVE SMITH Trial Lawyers. We can advise on your case and which type of divorce is best for you, and negotiate with the other side to help you secure the fair settlement you deserve.

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Family law matters are often challenging, and you need a tenacious attorney to protect your best interests. Whether you’re facing a divorce or a custody battle, our lawyers are prepared to safeguard your future.

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“We hired Leah M. Baldacci at Steve Smith for a family law case, and she was so extremely helpful and got me through a difficult time. She’s very professional and takes the time to listen to her clients. She’s a wonderful advocate and a fantastic attorney. If you are looking for a divorce attorney that actually cares, I recommend Leah. Thank you so much for your help.”

– Carlton

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We understand that your priority is to secure a better future, whether that’s through a divorce or by modifying your parenting arrangements. Our skilled attorneys use every resource at our disposal to overcome obstacles. Our full commitment to you drives us to achieve outstanding results.

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