Massachusetts Divorce Laws

Massachusetts Divorce Laws

Boston, MA sports teams have been dominant in the past decade The Patriots won the Super Bowl in 2018 (after also winning in 2014 and 2016), the Red Sox also won the World Series in 2018 (and 2013).

The Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011, and the Celtics won the Finals in 2008. If your marriage is not championship caliber, you may appreciate this summary of getting divorced in MA.

Typical divorce process – Massachusetts

The divorce process in Massachusetts can go down two different tracks. The first is the uncontested divorce, sometimes called a “Section 1A” divorce because of the legal provision it follows.

If a couple agrees they have had an “irretrievable breakdown” of their marriage and they can agree on how to divide their property and care for their children, then the court will simply review the petition and almost always approve it.

The other track, as you might guess, is the “Section 1B” divorce. This is the typical contested divorce process.

One spouse must file a complaint stating that the marriage has suffered an irretrievable breakdown, and then at least six months later the court will hold a hearing and typically grant the divorce while also addressing issues related to children and property.

Keep in mind that as long as you have children, you are generally going to be responsible for their care. Child support might not be ordered at the time of divorce, but the other parent could still make a filing for child support in MA and get child support ordered later.

Massachusetts alimony laws also allow one spouse to be ordered to pay support to the other regardless of whether they have children together.

Massachusetts divorce laws – Adultery

Almost nobody uses it anymore, but adultery is still technically grounds for divorce in MA. That means that if your spouse cheats on you, and you can prove that in court, then a divorce can be granted on that basis.

Some people getting a divorce in Massachusetts pursue fault divorces hoping it will give them a leg up in custody and property division issues, but for most people a no-fault divorce is going to be faster, easier, and cheaper.

Filing for divorce in Massachusetts without a lawyer

Today, people are skeptical about experts and the internet makes doing things yourself easier than ever. Plus, even though America is a wealthy country, the median net worth of families led by a person under age 35 is just $11,100.

So many people are interested in getting through the divorce process without spending a lot of money on lawyers. Luckily, the state government is helping to make divorce in MA as easy as possible. Massachusetts divorce forms cover everything you would need for a simple divorce.

How long does a divorce take in MA?

After cost, the next concern for most people is how fast they can get through with their divorce in Massachusetts. The six-month period for a 1B divorce is important to remember, though the court can agree to shorten that time and an uncontested divorce can get done in a matter of weeks.

Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?

If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.

Take Course