Maine Family Law

  1. Child Custody

    1. Introduction

      Maine courts determine parenting and time-sharing of minor children in accordance with “the best interests of the child” and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. If the victim of the nonconsensual online publication of intimate photos is involved in a child custody dispute, he or she may use evidence of the misconduct to establish abuse or harassment by his or her former spouse in a child custody matter.

    2. Text of Statute(s)

      Parents and Children - Me. Rev. Stat. 19-A, ch. 51-69

    3. Cases

      1. Miller v. Nery, 173 A.3d 147 (Me. 2017)

        • Procedural Posture: Appeal of District Court’s grant of mother’s motion for sole custody
        • Law: Child custody
        • Facts: Mother moved for modification of divorce judgment to confer sole parental rights and responsibilities on herself and to impose conditions on father’s contact with their children.
        • Outcome: The Supreme Judicial Counsel affirmed the lower court decision, finding that it acted within its discretion in modifying divorce judgment to require father’s sobriety testing before and during visits with his children and to require father to undergo substance abuse and psychological evaluations before children resumed overnight visits, where father’s unreasonable and harassing behavior with medical professionals trying to assist children and allegedly excessive alcohol use in children’s presence were demonstrably harming the children.
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  2. Divorce

    1. Introduction

      Evidence of misconduct may be considered in a divorce proceeding in Maine, so a WMC victim may be able to introduce evidence of threats to publish, or actual publication of, private intimate images without the victim’s consent and other improper behavior on the part of the victim’s spouse/former spouse.

    2. Text of Statute(s)

      Divorce, Grounds and Procedures - Me. Rev. Stat. 19-A, §§ 901-908

    3. Cases

      A search of Maine law did not reveal any cases that are factually relevant or analogous to WMC’s target situations.

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  3. Family Law - Overview

    The following sections are included because it may often be the case that a victim of an online privacy invasion has recently divorced the perpetrator spouse, or is considering a divorce or possibly a separation. Although evidence of misconduct is not appropriate in a divorce proceeding, the publication of sex photos/videos may well be considered in child custody proceedings, and considerations of domestic violence are appropriate when determining spousal support.

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