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Massachusetts Divorce Forms Explained
Joint Petition for Divorce: Requests a 1A no-fault divorce that is signed by both spouses. This allows the parties to jointly ask the court to grant an uncontested divorce.
R-408 Certificate: A form for statistical purposes only.
Separation Agreement: A document that outlines the terms and agreements of the divorce made between the couples. It is a legal document once it is signed and notarized, and is used in 1A no-fault divorces. Separation agreements address issues related to property, assets, alimony, child support, custody, parenting agreements and other important details.
Affidavit of Irretrievable Breakdown: Provides information about the date and reason for the breakdown of the marriage.
Financial Statements: Both spouses are required to complete financial statements and disclose them to one another. For individuals with incomes of less that $75,000 complete the short form and individuals with incomes greater than $75,000 complete the long form. Information provided includes income, expenses, assets and debt.
Child Support Guidelines Worksheet: The worksheet must be submitted to the court. However, if the couple believes that a different figure is fair and reasonable, and can explain it to the court, they are not bound to follow the figure calculated in the worksheet.
Affidavit Disclosing Care and Custody: Provides information about children from the marriage and their custody status.
Mandatory Parent Education Program: All parents seeking divorce must attend a five-hour parent education class. Most classes are delivered over the course of two. A yellow certificate of attendance is required by the court to file for divorce. Parents must attend different sessions.
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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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