You obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate and file a complaint for divorce.
While you can obtain a divorce on your own it is generally more efficient to work with an attorney.
I wish you all the best.
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: I am licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and have an office in Waltham. My practice is focused in the areas of family law, estate planning, probate, elder law, landlord-tenant and employment law. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. Please contact me with questions and concerns at: (T): 781-647-8100 (E): email@example.com I wish you all the best.
You can file one of two kinds of contested divorces - either a fault-based divorce under Section 1 of the divorce statute - Chapter 208 (by claiming one of several types of fault, including, cruel and abusive treatment, desertion, adultery, for example) or a no-fault divorce under Section 1B (by claiming there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage). You initiate one of these by filing a Complaint (along with a certified marriage certificate as Attorney Robbins says) and a couple of other documents that you can learn about from information on the Probate and Family Court's Web site. You will get a Summons and then you must have him served with a copy of the Complaint and the Summons. It is going to be a bit more complicated than this and I would advise that you speak with the Lawyer for the Day at the Courthouse (if you are income-eigible for that advice) or see if you can get assistance from your local Legal Services office. The Probate and Family Court Web site has information about these options. I hope that this helps to get you started.
You really don’t need your husband’s signature to file. All you need to do is complete the appropriate complaint form, along with your marriage certificate and a filing fee, at your local probate and family court. Within a few weeks you will receive a summons for the court to be served by constable to your husband. The summons is good for some time, but not indefinitely so try to time your filing with your husband’s return. If you don’t know where your husband is, then you will have to file service by publication. Once the summons has been served the action is properly before the court and you can motion for temporary orders of child support as well as many other orders that may be useful to you.
It is unclear what your goals are, beyond divorce and child support, but I would recommend conferring with an attorney to explore your options.
This is not legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should speak to an attorney for further information.
So sorry for your troubles. You can file a complaint for divorce, and, if you are unable to obtain in-hand service on your husband, you can file a motion with the Court for service by publication in a newspaper in the MA community where your husband regularly resides here in MA.
Please note that the fact of his having an affair, in and of itself, is not very good grounds for a contested divorce. It only matters if he has “frittered away” significant marital assets in connection with his affair.
Best wishes to you.
No attorney-client relatonship is created in responding to this question, and advice provided is based solely on very limited facts presented, and therefore may not be correct. You are advised that it is always best to contact a competent and experienced with the practice of law in the county in which you reside, particularly as it relates to family law, child support, custody and visitation (a/k/a "parenting time") issues, including 209A abuse-prevention restraining orders (a/k/a "ROs" in legal-speak), regarding un-emancipated children, under the age of 22.
File documents, and if ou know where he is, serve him, and if not,serve by publication. Get a lawyer.
henry lebensbaum esq 300 Brickstone Sq Ste 201 andover, ma -- firstname.lastname@example.org (978) 749-3606.
Criminal Law (all courts), Drunk Driving, Drugs, Violence, Sex Offenses, theft, SORB, Divorce Child Custody Alimony Child Support & Modification, Contempts & Paternity Juveniles Domestic Violence & Restraining Orders, Business Law, Personal Injury, Guardianship, Conservatorship & Estate Administration & Legal Malpractice. For these & other areas, contact me. Email sent may be copied intercepted or held by computers.
Criminal Law (all misdemeanor & felonies in District and Superior Courts), Drunk Driving and Drug arrests, Sex Offenses, SORB, Crimes involving Violence or Theft, Domestic (Divorce, Child Custody, Alimony and Child Support) and Family Law (Modification, Contempts & Paternity), Juvenile Law, Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders, Business Law, Personal Injury claims, Probate Law (Guardianships, Conservatorships & Estate Administration) and Legal Malpractice. For these and other areas, contact me. NOTE: This preceding message DOES NOT create an attorney-client relationship. It is not a protected or confidential communication. The statements made herein are not to be interpreted as representations or warranties of any kind. No reliance should be placed on the statements made herein. It is recommended that the recipient(s) should undertake their own research to reach their own opinion. The writer does not accept professional responsibility on this matter. TO CREATE an attorney-client relationship REQUIRES a signed retainer/fee agreement along with a retainer fee that must be received by my office.
More information is necessary to determine your situation. Although you can initiate the divorce on your own, the issue is whether the Commonwealth has jurisdiction over your Husband will determine whether you can establish a child support order here. If this becomes an international matter you will need a firm well versed in the international aspects of family law. If this is an interstate matter, you will need a firm with interstate family law experience. My firm has experience in both of these areas with three senior attorneys who are fellows with the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and contacts nationally and internationally.