Maine Revised Statutes

§1891. De facto parentage

1. De facto parentage.   The court may adjudicate a person to be a de facto parent.
[ 2015, c. 296, Pt. A, §1 (NEW); 2015, c. 296, Pt. D, §1 (AFF) .]
2. Standing to seek de facto parentage.   A person seeking to be adjudicated a de facto parent of a child under this subchapter must establish standing to maintain the action in accordance with the following.
A. A person seeking to be adjudicated a de facto parent of a child shall file with the initial pleadings an affidavit alleging under oath specific facts to support the existence of a de facto parent relationship with the child as set forth in subsection 3. The pleadings and affidavit must be served upon all parents and legal guardians of the child and any other party to the proceeding. [2015, c. 296, Pt. A, §1 (NEW); 2015, c. 296, Pt. D, §1 (AFF).]
B. An adverse party, parent or legal guardian who files a pleading in response to the pleadings in paragraph A shall also file an affidavit in response, serving all parties to the proceeding with a copy. [2015, c. 296, Pt. A, §1 (NEW); 2015, c. 296, Pt. D, §1 (AFF).]
C. The court shall determine on the basis of the pleadings and affidavits under paragraphs A and B whether the person seeking to be adjudicated a de facto parent has presented prima facie evidence of the requirements set forth in subsection 3. The court may in its sole discretion, if necessary and on an expedited basis, hold a hearing to determine disputed facts that are necessary and material to the issue of standing. [2015, c. 296, Pt. A, §1 (NEW); 2015, c. 296, Pt. D, §1 (AFF).]
D. If the court's determination under paragraph C is in the affirmative, the party claiming de facto parentage has standing to proceed to adjudication under subsection 3. [2015, c. 296, Pt. A, §1 (NEW); 2015, c. 296, Pt. D, §1 (AFF).]
[ 2015, c. 296, Pt. A, §1 (NEW); 2015, c. 296, Pt. D, §1 (AFF) .]
3. Adjudication of de facto parent status.   The court shall adjudicate a person to be a de facto parent if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the person has fully and completely undertaken a permanent, unequivocal, committed and responsible parental role in the child's life. Such a finding requires a determination by the court that:
A. The person has resided with the child for a significant period of time; [2015, c. 296, Pt. A, §1 (NEW); 2015, c. 296, Pt. D, §1 (AFF).]
B. The person has engaged in consistent caretaking of the child; [2015, c. 296, Pt. A, §1 (NEW); 2015, c. 296, Pt. D, §1 (AFF).]
C. A bonded and dependent relationship has been established between the child and the person, the relationship was fostered or supported by another parent of the child and the person and the other parent have understood, acknowledged or accepted that or behaved as though the person is a parent of the child; [2015, c. 296, Pt. A, §1 (NEW); 2015, c. 296, Pt. D, §1 (AFF).]
D. The person has accepted full and permanent responsibilities as a parent of the child without expectation of financial compensation; and [2015, c. 296, Pt. A, §1 (NEW); 2015, c. 296, Pt. D, §1 (AFF).]
E. The continuing relationship between the person and the child is in the best interest of the child. [2015, c. 296, Pt. A, §1 (NEW); 2015, c. 296, Pt. D, §1 (AFF).]
[ 2015, c. 296, Pt. A, §1 (NEW); 2015, c. 296, Pt. D, §1 (AFF) .]
4. Orders.   The court may enter the following orders as appropriate.
A. The court may enter an interim order concerning contact between a person with standing seeking adjudication under this subchapter as a de facto parent and the child. [2015, c. 296, Pt. A, §1 (NEW); 2015, c. 296, Pt. D, §1 (AFF).]
B. Adjudication of a person under this subchapter as a de facto parent establishes parentage, and the court shall determine parental rights and responsibilities in accordance with section 1653. The court shall make appropriate orders for the financial support for the child in accordance with the child support guidelines under chapter 63. An order requiring the payment of support to or from a de facto parent does not relieve any other parent of the obligation to pay child support unless otherwise ordered by a court. [2015, c. 296, Pt. A, §1 (NEW); 2015, c. 296, Pt. D, §1 (AFF).]
[ 2015, c. 296, Pt. A, §1 (NEW); 2015, c. 296, Pt. D, §1 (AFF) .]
5. Other parents.   The adjudication of a person under this subchapter as a de facto parent does not disestablish the parentage of any other parent.
[ 2015, c. 296, Pt. A, §1 (NEW); 2015, c. 296, Pt. D, §1 (AFF) .]
SECTION HISTORY
2015, c. 296, Pt. A, §1 (NEW). 2015, c. 296, Pt. D, §1 (AFF).