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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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Massachusetts permits several grounds for divorce, including the traditional fault grounds (such as adultery or incarceration) as well as no-fault grounds, which means a faultless but irretrievable breakdown of the marriage has occurred.
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