Child Support

Maine Child Support

In Maine the court may not apply a preference for one parent over the other in determining parental rights and responsibilities. If the parents have agreed to an award of shared parental rights and responsibilities or so agree in open court, the court shall make that award unless there is substantial evidence that it should not be ordered.

The court shall state in its decision the reasons for not ordering a shared parental rights and responsibilities award agreed to by both parents. The court, in making an award of parental rights and responsibilities with respect to a child, shall apply the standard of the best interest of the child. In making decisions regarding the child's residence and parent-child contact, the court shall consider as primary the safety and well-being of the child. In applying this standard, the court shall consider the following factors:

Either parent of a minor child shall contribute reasonable and just sums as child support payable weekly, monthly or quarterly. After the court or hearing officer determines the annual gross income of both parties, the 2 incomes must be added together to provide a combined annual gross income and applied to the child support table to determine the basic support entitlement for each child.

Termination of support: A court order requiring the payment of child support remains in force as to each child until the order is altered by the court or until that child:

Attains 18 years of age. For orders issued after January 1, 1990, if the child attains 18 years of age while attending secondary school as defined in Title 20-A, section 1, the order remains in force until the child graduates, withdraws or is expelled from secondary school or attains 19 years of age, whichever occurs first.

  • Becomes married.
  • Becomes a member of the armed services.

The court may require the payment of part or all of the medical expenses, hospital expenses and other health care expenses of the child. The court order must include a provision requiring at least one parent to obtain and maintain health insurance coverage for medical, hospitalization and dental expenses, if reasonable cost health insurance is available to that parent. [Based on Maine Revised Statutes - Title 19-A - Sections 1653 and 2006]