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Massachusetts Divorce Forms
This is a list of the most commonly filed divorce forms for the state of Massachusetts. Following the list is a brief summary of each form and its purpose. This list of forms is not exhaustive and not all forms listed are required for every divorce. Due to unique case situations and special divorce filing procedures in Massachusetts, certain forms may or may not be required by the Massachusetts courts.
Joint Petition for Divorce under M.G.L. Ch. 208, Sec. 1A
This standard form, signed by both spouses, asks the court to end the marriage on grounds of irretrievable breakdown. It may be filed with a) the marriage certificate, b) husband's and wife's financial statements, c) a separation agreement, d) an Affidavit of Irretrievable Breakdown, e) an Affidavit Disclosing Care and Custody Proceedings and f) a Child Support Guidelines Worksheet.
Joint Affidavit under M.G.L. Ch. 208, Sec. 1A
This notarized standard affidavit, signed by both spouses, states that the couple believe their marriage is "irretrievably broken," and asks the court to incorporate the marital settlement in a judgment of divorce.
Each spouse completes a standard Financial Statement (the short form on pink paper for incomes of less than $75,000 per year; the long form on purple paper for incomes of more than $75,000 per year), which profiles the income and assets of the party. Self-employed people and those with rental income must complete schedules dealing with this income.
An Affidavit Disclosing Care or Custody Proceedings
This standard form establishes parties with an interest in the custody of minor children of the marriage.
Child Support Guidelines Worksheet
This form, completed by the custodial parent, is used when the combined gross income of the couple does not exceed $100,000 and the income of the custodial parent is not more than $75,000.
An Income Assignment Worksheet
This standard form shows the amount that the obligor must pay in spousal and/or child support to the obligee. It may stipulate the manner of payment.
Request for Trial--Pre-Trial Assignment
This form is used in contested actions to move the case forward. Before a case can be heard, the Summons or Return of Service, marriage certificate, Certificate of Absolute Divorce or Annulment, R-408, Financial Statement, affidavits of both parties and a settlement agreement must be on file.
Certificate of Absolute Divorce or Annulment, R-408
This standard form is used by the commonwealth to record vital statistics.
Complaint for Divorce
This standard form identifies the parties, date of marriage, children and birthdates and the grounds and relief sought.
A Divorce/Separate Support Summons
This standard form, which must be obtained from the court, is notarized. It gives the Defendant 20 days to respond or face the consequences of the action moving forward without his or her participation. It contains an Automatic Restraining Order against disturbing marital assets, incurring debts, or changing the beneficiaries of any insurance of the parties. It also contains an Acceptance of Service, which is signed by the Defendant upon receipt of the Summons.
An Answer and Counterclaim
This standard form, which is used when a divorce is going to be contested, answers the allegations made by the Plaintiff. The counterclaim sets forth allegations against the Plaintiff, as if the Defendant were asking for the divorce.
This is not a standard form and because of variables it is often custom written. It deals with the terms and conditions of property division and distribution including real estate, personal property, pension plans, debt; child custody and visitation; alimony and child(ren) support; medical, dental and life insurance; taxes; education and any another particulars of the case.
Affidavit of Indigency and Request for Waiver, Substitution or State Payment of Fees and Costs
This form is used when an party cannot afford the filing fees and court costs of a divorce and seeks a waiver from payment on ground of indigency.
Courts in Massachusetts decide child custody based on what is in the child's best interests. While parents can come to their own custody agreements, courts are not bound to accept it.
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