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Waiting period on a judges decision re: divorce in Massachusetts

Middleboro, MA |

My husband and I went to trial on 8/22/13 for our divorce. It is now 12/1/13 and we still haven't received the decision from the judge on the contested issues of custody of our 17 yr old daughter, the house we own together and alimony. How much longer she we expect to wait to hear from the judge? We live in Massachusetts

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Attorney answers 8


There is no fix rule about when the court has to return a decision. It is affected by the density of the court's calendar, the administrative calendar, the number of issues and the body of evidence the court has to review. The general expectation is that within 6 months the court will have prepared it decision.

This answer is provided for informational purposes only and it is not intended as legal advice. Additionally, this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you wish to obtain legal advice specific to your case, please consult with a local attorney


We simply do not have enough judges sitting in the Probate and Family Court to handle all the cases. Unfortunately, that means that delays like this are inevitable.

E. Alexandra "Sasha" Golden is a Massachusetts lawyer. All answers are based on Massachusetts law. All answers are for educational purposes and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to a question.


While I agree with the other attorneys, I must add that you can go to the clerks' office of that court and request to see the docket file. It may already be in there (they make mistakes- they are human)..

No attorney-client relationship 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.

Karen D. Lane

Karen D. Lane


If you are represented by counsel, I would ask your attorney if s/he could call the Judge's Lobby and speak to the your Judge's Judicial Case Manager. By speaking directly with the Judicial Case Manager, your attorney may get a better idea of how long it will take to get Findings from your Judge. Your attorney will determine whether s/he feels that it is appropriate to call the Judicial Case Manager based on their knowledge of your Judge and their judicial temperament as well as the Judicial Case Manager's personalty. You can do this with some Judge's but not all! It depends on how well your attorney is versed in "Knowing Your Judge!" If by any chance this is in Middlesex County, be prepared to wait a long time!


Have your lawyer contact the clerk's office

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There is no set time limit for Court decisions but you can certainly try contacting the clerk to obtain an update. While you may not obtain an answer right away you will eventually get the Court's attention.


This can depend on the County to case was in and the judge who heard it. There is no time obligation for the judge to respond and we have cases that took nearly a year, even after contacting the clerk and register's office.


As a reasonable time has passed, I would suggest that your attorney contact the judge's clerk to determine if the judge's decision had been filed. If temporary orders have been entered and no longer are making sense, your attorney may file a motion to modify the orders that are not working for you.

This answer is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship exists.


Since several months have passed, I would check with the clerks office to make sure the case did not get lost or misfiled. If it is till with the judge, as you read in other attorney's answers, there is no set time and which to issue findings. If there are problems resulting from the lack of a decision, have your attorney address these issues with the court.

Good luck and best wishes.

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