Massachusetts Info

Massachusetts Divorce Start Your Divorce Find Professionals Massachusetts Articles Divorce Facts Divorce Grounds Residency Divorce Laws Mediation/Counseling Divorce Process Legal Separation Annulments Property Division Alimony Child Custody Child Support Divorce Forms Process Service Grandparent Rights Forum Massachusetts Products Divorce by County

Massachusetts Articles

Agreements Attorney Relationship Custody & Visitation Child Support Collaborative Law Counseling Divorce Arbitration Divorce/General Financial Planning Mediation Parenting Spousal Support SEE ALL

Info Categories

Contemplating Divorce Children & Divorce Divorce, Dollars & Debt Divorce Laws Divorce Process Divorce Negotiation SEE ALL

More Information

Articles Checklists Research Center Cases of Interest Dictionary Encyclopedia Encyclopedia (pop-up) Blogs

For Professionals

Advertise With Us Free Network Page Join Our Network Submit Articles Case Management Sign In

Network Sites

Massachusetts Divorce Support Massachusetts Divorce Online

Massachusetts Divorce Process
Preparing the Divorce Papers

In a joint petition (1A divorce), the couple agrees to a no-fault divorce. The petition states that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, which means that both spouses agree that they cannot resolve their marital problems and that neither spouse is at fault for their problems. Both spouses are called the petitioners. Whoever is listed first is petitioner A and the other spouse is petitioner B; the outcome of the divorce, however, does not depend on whose name is first.

A 1B divorce is also a no-fault divorce. The spouse that fills out the 1B divorce complaint is the plaintiff; the other spouse is the defendant.

Read more about Massachusetts divorce forms


Filing the Paperwork with the Court

Both 1A and 1B forms require a date when the marriage became irretrievably broken. This can be the date either spouse moved out or the date one spouse realized the marriage had failed.

If either or both spouses own real estate, information for all deeds are required as well. This information is shown on the original deed or at the county registry of deeds for the county where the real estate is located. All Massachusetts registries can be searched online for this information.

The following documents must be filed with the petition or complaint: a completed certification of vital statistics, and a certified copy of the marriage certificate. A copy of the marriage certificate can be obtained from the city or town clerk where the marriage happened, or from the Massachusetts secretary of state.

Read more about Massachusetts divorce facts


Serving the Documents

There is no service on a 1A divorce because both spouses sign the petition.

For a 1B divorce, when the plaintiff spouse files the divorce, the court clerk returns a copy of the complaint with a summons. When the plaintiff mails or brings the complaint to the court, he or she must include the fee for the summons, which is in addition to the filing fee for the complaint.

The plaintiff spouse then serves the complaint copy and the summons on the defendant spouse.

The plaintiff mails the summons to the court to show how the defendant was served. The plaintiff should keep copies of everything returned by mail, because it is not unusual to go to court and learn that divorce papers are missing.

Read more about Massachusetts process service


Disclosing Financial Information

Each spouse must prepare a financial statement and exchange it with the other spouse. A party can use the short form if he or she earns less than $75,000. Otherwise, the long form must be completed.

The parties should have an up-to-date financial statement prepared whenever they have a hearing. Both spouses should exchange copies.

Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce

A spouse who receives a complaint for divorce should file an appearance to show that he or she wants a voice in the case.

A party can also file a response, which is called an answer, if the complaint contains incorrect statements or he or she want to ask for a result different that what the plaintiff requested.

If the defendant wants to contest, he or she can file a counterclaim to list different reasons for the divorce. There is a separate filing fee for the counterclaim.

Finalizing the Divorce

Generally, the timeframe is as long as it takes for both parties to sign a separation agreement, plus two to six weeks to schedule a court date. The divorce becomes final either three or four months after the court date. If a case is contested and goes all the way to trial, however, a divorce can take as long as two years or more.

Start Massachusetts Divorce Start Your Massachusetts Online Divorce Today
Easy, Fast and Affordable with a 100% Guarantee.
Massachusetts Divorce Find Massachusetts Divorce Professionals in Your Area:
Join the Network
Massachusetts Divorce Products, Services and Solutions Massachusetts Divorce Products, Services and Solutions
Massachusetts Divorce Resources to Help You Through the Process.
Online Parenting Class Massachusetts Mandatory Online Parenting Class
Easy and convenient - complete at your own pace online.
Divorce and Custody Books Discount Divorce Bookstore
Over 100 Titles of the Best Books on Divorce & Custody.
Divorce Downloads Divorce Download Center
Instantly Download, Books, Manuals, & Forms.
Divorce Worksheet Free Massachusetts Divorce Worksheet & Separation Agreement
Your Guide to Get Organized and Put Everything in Writing.
   
Massachusetts courts can order alimony in any divorce. Courts consider a wide range of financial issues when awarding alimony, such as the length of the marriage, the conduct of the parties during the marriage, each spouse's age, health and ability to earn an income.

FEATURED TOOL - Positive Parenting Through Divorce (Complete Your Mandatory Parenting Class Online)

Guarantee Official PayPal Seal Facebook Twitter Versign Secure Site
Limited Offer Women's Rights Manual For Divorce
Cover Price: $55.95
Your Price: $29.95
You Save: $26.00

"The Absolute Best Investment in Your Divorce"

Men's Rights Manual For Divorce
Cover Price: $55.95
Your Price: $29.95
You Save: $26.00

"Uncover Your Options and Unleash Solutions"