Maine Child Custody Laws

Maine Child Custody Issues & Resources

Maine Child Custody

Maine child custody is determined based upon the best interests of the child. Best interests are determined by a Maine Court based upon the following factors: 
  • the age of the child; 

  • the capability and desire of each parent to meet the child's needs; 

  • the preference of the child, if the child is of sufficient age and capacity; 

  • the length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity; 

  • the desire and ability of each parent to allow an open and loving frequent relationship between the child and the other parent;

  • the child's adjustment to his or her home, school, and community; 

  • the relationship of the child with parents, siblings, and other significant family members; 

  • the stability of the home environment likely to be offered by each parent; 

  • a need to promote continuity and stability in the life of the child; 

  • the parent's capacity and willingness to cooperate; 

  • methods for dispute resolution; 

  • the effect on the child of one parent having sole authority over his or her upbringing;

  • any other factors having a reasonable bearing on the child's upbringing.

Three types of Maine child custody may be awarded: 

  • Responsibilities for the child's welfare are divided, either exclusively or proportionately. The responsibilities to be divided are: primary physical residence, parent-child contact, support, education, medical and dental care, religious upbringing, travel boundaries and expenses, and any other aspects. A parent awarded responsibility for any aspect may be required to inform the other parent of any major changes;

  • Parental responsibilities are shared. Most or all of the responsibilities are made on the basis of joint decisions and the parents retain equal parental rights and responsibilities; or

  • One parent is granted full and exclusive rights and responsibility for the child's welfare, except for the responsibility of child support. If the parties agree to share parental rights and responsibilities, the court will honor the agreement absent substantial evidence that it should not be ordered

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