Aroostook County, ME Family Law Lawyers


Includes: Collaborative Law, Domestic Violence & Neglect, Paternity, Prenuptial Agreements

Richard L. Currier

Real Estate, Family Law
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  38 Years

Michele D. L. Kenney

Divorce, Criminal, Family Law, Domestic Violence & Neglect
Status:  In Good Standing           

Scott G. Hunter

Bankruptcy & Debt, Criminal, Divorce, Family Law
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  28 Years

James M. Dunleavy

Criminal, Family Law, Workers' Compensation, Personal Injury
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  22 Years
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Hugh S. Kirkpatrick

Real Estate, Family Law
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  59 Years

Brian T. McNally

Criminal, Family Law
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  39 Years

Torrey A. Sylvester

Family Law
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  48 Years

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LEGAL TERMS

BEST INTERESTS (OF THE CHILD)

The test that courts use when deciding who will take care of a child. For instance, an adoption is allowed only when a court declares it to be in the best inter... (more...)
The test that courts use when deciding who will take care of a child. For instance, an adoption is allowed only when a court declares it to be in the best interests of the child. Similarly, when asked to decide on custody issues in a divorce case, the judge will base his or her decision on the child's best interests. And the same test is used when judges decide whether a child should be removed from a parent's home because of neglect or abuse. Factors considered by the court in deciding the best interests of a child include: age and sex of the child mental and physical health of the child mental and physical health of the parents lifestyle and other social factors of the parents emotional ties between the parents and the child ability of the parents to provide the child with food, shelter, clothing and medical care established living pattern for the child concerning school, home, community and religious institution quality of schooling, and the child's preference.

GUARDIAN

An adult who has been given the legal right by a court to control and care for a minor or her property. Someone who looks after a child's property is called a '... (more...)
An adult who has been given the legal right by a court to control and care for a minor or her property. Someone who looks after a child's property is called a 'guardian of the estate.' An adult who has legal authority to make personal decisions for the child, including responsibility for his physical, medical and educational needs, is called a 'guardian of the person.' Sometimes just one person will be named to take care of all these tasks. An individual appointed by a court to look after an incapacitated adult may also be known as a guardian, but is more frequently called a conservator.

CUSTODIAN

A term used by the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act for the person named to manage property left to a child under the terms of that Act. The custodian will manag... (more...)
A term used by the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act for the person named to manage property left to a child under the terms of that Act. The custodian will manage the property if the gift giver dies before the child has reached the age specified by state law -- usually 21. When the child reaches the specified age, he will receive the property and the custodian will have no further role in its management.

INCURABLE INSANITY

A legal reason for obtaining either a fault divorce or a no-fault divorce. It is rarely used, however, because of the difficulty of proving both the insanity of... (more...)
A legal reason for obtaining either a fault divorce or a no-fault divorce. It is rarely used, however, because of the difficulty of proving both the insanity of the spouse being divorced and that the insanity is incurable.

PREMARITAL AGREEMENT

An agreement made by a couple before marriage that controls certain aspects of their relationship, usually the management and ownership of property, and sometim... (more...)
An agreement made by a couple before marriage that controls certain aspects of their relationship, usually the management and ownership of property, and sometimes whether alimony will be paid if the couple later divorces. Courts usually honor premarital agreements unless one person shows that the agreement was likely to promote divorce, was written with the intention of divorcing or was entered into unfairly. A premarital agreement may also be known as a 'prenuptial agreement.'

ADOPTIVE PARENT

A person who completes all the requirements to legally adopt a child who is not his or her biological child. Generally, any single or married adult who is deter... (more...)
A person who completes all the requirements to legally adopt a child who is not his or her biological child. Generally, any single or married adult who is determined to be a 'fit parent' may adopt a child. Some states have special requirements, such as age or residency criteria. An adoptive parent has all the responsibilities of a biological parent.

PHYSICAL CUSTODY

The right and obligation of a parent to have his child live with him. Compare legal custody.

QMSCO

See Qualified Medical Child Support Order.

ATTORNEY FEES

The payment made to a lawyer for legal services. These fees may take several forms: hourly per job or service -- for example, $350 to draft a will contingency (... (more...)
The payment made to a lawyer for legal services. These fees may take several forms: hourly per job or service -- for example, $350 to draft a will contingency (the lawyer collects a percentage of any money she wins for her client and nothing if there is no recovery), or retainer (usually a down payment as part of an hourly or per job fee agreement). Attorney fees must usually be paid by the client who hires a lawyer, though occasionally a law or contract will require the losing party of a lawsuit to pay the winner's court costs and attorney fees. For example, a contract might contain a provision that says the loser of any lawsuit between the parties to the contract will pay the winner's attorney fees. Many laws designed to protect consumers also provide for attorney fees -- for example, most state laws that require landlords to provide habitable housing also specify that a tenant who sues and wins using that law may collect attorney fees. And in family law cases -- divorce, custody and child support -- judges often have the power to order the more affluent spouse to pay the other spouse's attorney fees, even where there is no clear victor.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

DEPT. OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVS. v. Pelletier

... The family law magistrate (Langner, M.) found in favor of Pelletier after concluding that the Department had waived its right to seek child support. ... We now hold that the same rules apply when the District Court has vacated a family law magistrate's decision. ...

Smith v. Padolko

... On a post-judgment motion to modify a divorce decree, an abuse of discretion will only be found if the award is "plainly and unmistakably an injustice that is so apparent as to be instantly visible without argument." Levy, Maine Family Law Pleadings and Procedure § 4.13.3 at 61 ...

Conrad v. Swan

... Robert G. Conrad appeals from a judgment of the District Court (South Paris, Lawrence, J.) denying his objection to a final order of parental rights and responsibilities in which the Family Law Magistrate (Carlson, M.) rendered a default judgment against him for failure to appear. ...