Who Gets The House In A Divorce In Maine

Divorce can be a complex and emotionally challenging process, especially when it involves the division of assets such as the family home. In Maine, the question of who gets the house in a divorce is determined by various factors and considerations, ensuring that the division is fair and equitable. Maine follows the principle of equitable distribution, which means that marital property is divided fairly but not necessarily equally between the spouses. The court considers several vital aspects, including the duration of the marriage, the financial contributions made by each spouse, the age and health of the individuals involved, and the needs of any children.

It is important to note that non-marital property, such as assets acquired before the marriage or through inheritance or gift, may be excluded from the division. Ultimately, the court strives to achieve a resolution considering each case’s unique circumstances. To navigate the complexities of property division in a divorce in Maine, it is crucial to seek guidance from a qualified attorney specializing in family law. If you are looking to sell your house in Maine during this challenging time, we buy Maine houses and can assist you in finding a suitable solution.

Understanding Maine’s Property Division Laws in Divorce

Property division during a divorce in Maine is governed by the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 19-A, Section 953. This statute requires the court to consider various factors when dividing marital property, such as each spouse’s contribution to acquiring it and economic circumstances at the time of division. Financial abuse by either party may also be taken into account. Marital property includes all assets acquired after marriage except for certain types outlined in the statute.

Who Gets the House in a Divorce?

The family home or right to live in it for reasonable periods may be awarded based on custody arrangements, with the children involved being prioritized. However, any property owned before marriage or acquired through specific means will not fall under this category unless agreed upon by both parties involved in a valid agreement stated within said document.

The Concept of Marital Property in Maine

Who Gets The House In A Divorce In Maine

Marital property in Maine refers to the assets and debts acquired by a couple during their marriage. In divorce, the marital property becomes particularly significant as it determines how these assets and debts are divided between the spouses. Maine follows the principle of equitable distribution, which means that the court will strive to divide marital property fairly, though not necessarily equally, based on various factors such as the duration of the marriage, the contributions of each spouse, and their respective financial situations.

It is important to note that marital property does not typically include separate property, which includes assets acquired before the marriage or through inheritance or gifts. Therefore, when determining who gets the house in a divorce in Maine, the court will consider the specific circumstances and factors involved to make a fair and reasonable decision.

The Role of Equitable Distribution in Maine Divorces

Equitable distribution is crucial in Maine divorces, determining the fair division of assets and liabilities between the spouses. This legal principle aims to ensure that both parties receive a just share of the marital property, considering various factors such as the duration of the marriage, each spouse’s contribution to the acquisition of assets, and their respective financial needs.

In Maine, the court follows the principle of equitable distribution rather than a strict 50/50 split. This means the court strives to achieve a fair and reasonable property division based on each case’s circumstances. It is important to note that equitable distribution does not necessarily mean an equal distribution, as the court may consider factors such as each spouse’s earning capacity and future financial prospects. Through this process, the court aims to promote fairness and ensure both parties can move forward after the divorce with a reasonable share of the marital assets.

Factors That Influence Who Gets The House in a Maine Divorce

When going through a divorce in Maine, determining who gets the house is one of the most significant concerns. Several factors come into play when making this decision.

  • The length of the marriage is taken into account. If the couple has been married for a significant amount of time, the court may lean towards awarding the house to the spouse with custodial rights over any children involved.
  • The financial situation of each spouse is considered. The court will assess both parties’ income, assets, and liabilities to determine who is more financially capable of maintaining the house.
  • The contributions of each spouse towards the acquisition and upkeep of the property are also examined. This includes financial and non-financial contributions such as home improvements or maintenance.
  • The court may consider the emotional attachment of each spouse to the house, especially if it has been the family home for a long time.

Ultimately, the decision of who gets the house in a Maine divorce is influenced by combining these factors, ensuring a fair and equitable resolution for both parties involved.

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The Duration of the Marriage and Contribution of Each Spouse

The marriage’s duration and each spouse’s contribution play significant roles in determining who gets the house. Maine is an equitable distribution state, meaning marital property is divided fairly but not equally. The duration of the marriage is considered as a factor in this process. Generally, the longer the marriage, the more likely the house will be considered marital property and subject to division.

The contribution of each spouse during the marriage is considered. This includes financial contributions, such as income and assets acquired, and non-financial contributions, such as raising children or maintaining the household. The court aims to ensure a fair distribution of assets based on the contributions made by each spouse throughout the marriage.

The Financial Situation of Each Spouse Post-Divorce

After a divorce, the financial situation of each spouse can drastically change. In Maine, the division of assets and debts is subject to equitable distribution, where the court aims to divide property fairly but not necessarily equally. This means that the financial situation of each spouse post-divorce will depend on various factors, including the length of the marriage, the earning capacity of each spouse, and their respective contributions to the marital estate.

The court may consider factors such as income, employability, age, health, and living standards during the marriage. Additionally, the court may award spousal support or alimony to the financially disadvantaged spouse, further impacting their financial situation. It is crucial for individuals going through a divorce to seek legal counsel to ensure their rights and financial interests are protected.

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How The Court Decides on Home Ownership in a Divorce

When deciding who gets the house in a divorce in Maine, the court considers various factors to reach a fair and equitable resolution. One key factor is the length of the marriage, as longer marriages may result in a greater likelihood of joint ownership or considerations for spousal support. The court considers each spouse’s financial contributions toward the acquisition and maintenance of the home. This includes examining mortgage payments, property taxes, and renovations or improvements.

The court assesses both parties’ financial situations, earning capacities, and ability to maintain the home and meet ongoing financial obligations. The best interests of any children involved are also considered, as the court aims to provide stability and a suitable living environment. Ultimately, the court strives to achieve a fair distribution of property, ensuring that both parties are given a reasonable share of the marital assets, which may or may not include the marital home.

The Impact of Child Custody on Property Division

Child custody is a crucial aspect of divorce proceedings that not only affects the emotional well-being of the children involved but also has significant implications on the division of property. In the context of divorce in Maine, determining who gets the house becomes intertwined with the issue of child custody. The decision regarding child custody can significantly impact the division of property as it affects the children’s primary residence.

In cases where one parent is granted sole custody, it is common for that parent to retain possession of the marital home, providing stability and familiarity for the children. On the other hand, joint custody arrangements may necessitate a more equitable distribution of assets, including the house, to ensure both parents have suitable living arrangements for the children during their custody periods. The impact of child custody on property division underscores the importance of considering the children’s best interests while ensuring fairness and financial stability for both parties involved in the divorce.

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The Role of Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements play a crucial role in determining the division of assets in the unfortunate event of a divorce. These legal documents provide clarity and protection for both parties involved, ensuring that each individual’s rights and interests are safeguarded. A prenuptial agreement is typically signed before marriage and outlines the distribution of assets, debts, and potential spousal support in case of divorce.

On the other hand, a postnuptial agreement is entered into after marriage, addressing similar matters. By establishing clear guidelines and expectations, these agreements help to mitigate conflicts and uncertainties during the divorce process. They provide financial security and peace of mind, ensuring a fair and equitable division of property, including the question of who gets the house in a divorce in Maine. Couples must consult with legal professionals to draft these agreements, tailor them to their specific circumstances, and ensure compliance with applicable laws to ensure a smooth and amicable resolution in case of separation or divorce.

Options Beyond Keeping the House: Selling vs. Refinancing

When faced with the difficult decision of what to do with the family home in a divorce in Maine, there are several options beyond simply keeping the house. Two popular alternatives to consider are selling and refinancing. Selling the house involves putting it on the market and finding a buyer willing to purchase it at a fair price. This option allows both parties to move on from the shared asset and divide the proceeds according to their agreed-upon terms.

On the other hand, refinancing offers the opportunity to keep the house by replacing the existing mortgage with a new one based on the current market value. This can be a favorable choice if one party wishes to retain the property and can afford the new mortgage payments. Ultimately, the decision between selling and refinancing should be carefully considered, considering financial circumstances, emotional attachment, and the desire for a fresh start.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Selling the Marital Home

When considering the division of assets in a divorce, one significant decision that couples must make is whether to sell the marital home. There are several advantages to selling a marital home.


  • Selling the property allows both parties a clean break and a fresh start. It eliminates ongoing financial ties and allows individuals to move forward independently.
  • Selling the home can provide a financial boost, as the proceeds from the sale can be divided between the spouses, potentially providing a much-needed financial cushion for the future.
  • Selling the marital home can alleviate the emotional burden of holding onto a property with memories of the past, allowing both parties to embrace their new lives fully.


  • The potential loss of sentimental value associated with the property. The family home often holds cherished memories and sentimental attachments, which can be challenging.
  • Selling the home may also result in the need to uproot children from their familiar surroundings, which can be emotionally challenging for all involved.
  • Selling the marital home may take longer than anticipated, causing delays in finalizing the divorce proceedings.
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  3. Guaranteed Offer, no waiting.
  4. No repairs required, sell “AS IS”
  5. No appraisals or delays.

The Process and Implications of Refinancing the Home After Divorce

The process of refinancing the home after a divorce can have significant implications for both parties involved. In the context of who gets the house in a divorce in Maine, refinancing allows one spouse to buy out the other’s share of the property, effectively removing them from the mortgage and title.

This process involves assessing the home’s current value, determining the equity available, and negotiating the terms of the refinancing agreement. Considering the financial implications, such as interest rates, closing costs, and potential tax consequences, is essential. Refinancing the home after divorce requires careful planning and consideration to ensure both parties’ smooth transition and financial stability.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to a house in a divorce in Maine?

In Maine, the division of marital assets is determined by equitable distribution. This means that any property acquired during the marriage will be divided between both parties in a divorce according to what is deemed fair and just. The court considers certain factors when determining an appropriate outcome for real estate, such as income levels of each party prior to or at the time of filing, contributions made to acquiring and maintaining shared properties (financial support), length of marriage, current age/health condition(s) and non-monetary contributions during marriage (e.g., parenting responsibilities).

Is Maine a 50 50 state when it comes to divorce?

No, Maine is not a 50/50 state when it comes to divorce. The division of marital assets can be determined through negotiation between the parties or by assigning each party primary responsibility for certain types of assets and liabilities. The court will take into account multiple factors including length of marriage, contribution to family income and value in property acquired during the marriage before concluding on an equitable division.

Who qualifies for alimony in Maine?

In Maine, either spouse may qualify for alimony based on several factors such as history of economic dependence or contributions to the other partner’s education. Some considerations include length of marriage, age and health status of each party, earning capacity of both spouses and relative financial need. Courts will also look at certain circumstances that make it difficult for one spouse to become self-supporting without help from a former partner.

What money can’t be touched in a divorce?

In the event of a divorce, all money and assets that are held in one spouse’s name only cannot be touched by the other spouse during divide-up proceedings. This includes individual accounts such as bank accounts, retirement funds, stocks/bonds or any other investments placed solely under the name of one particular party involved. In addition to this, any wealth acquired prior to the marriage is also off limits when it comes time for asset division. Money from trusts may still be up for debate even if they’re not in either parties’ names but those specifics will vary depending on case law of each state.
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