Consult with a local divorce attorney who can explain to you all of your rights.
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Yes, speak to a divorce attorney in your area. The employees at the courthouse can give very limited help with forms, but can not advise you about what you can pursue and not pursue. Call the Hampden County Bar Association, they may have a lawyer referral service if you need help finding someone, and the Massachusetts Bar Association certainly has such a service. Good luck.
After 30 years you need a lawyer. There's is too much to divide. Protect your future by arming yourself with legal representation.
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File for divorce in the county in which you live.
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How to obtain a divorce in Massachusetts
To obtain a divorce in Massachusetts, one party to a valid marriage files a "Complaint For Divorce." The Complaint is filed in the County where the parties last lived as husband and wife (if one party still resides in that County.) (If the "cause of action" occurred outside Massachusetts, there is a one-year residency requirement before the now Massachusetts resident can file for a Divorce.) In the past, there had to be a fault upon which to base the Complaint. Today, there is the "irretrievable breakdown" cause of action, also known as the "no fault" divorce. In the "no fault" situation, one party to the marriage can file the Complaint (pursuant to G. L. ch. 208 section 1B); or, the parties together can file a Joint Petition (pursuant to G. L. ch. 208 section 1A). See FAQ about divorce in Massachusetts.
Most divorcing parties choose to file for a "no fault" divorce. There are procedural differences between the two "no fault" situations . When a joint petition is filed, the parties must be prepared to file the written "Separation Agreement" within 30 days. This can be a difficult requirement. On the other hand, when one party files the Complaint, there is a statutory waiting period of six months before the Court will have a Divorce hearing. In my experience, it is best to have one party file the Complaint and then work diligently on the terms of the "Separation Agreement" while the statutory clock ticks away. If the parties have been able to come to terms before that six month time period, the Complaint can be amended to a Joint Petition. "No fault" does not mean "uncontested."
What is Required to file for divorce?
•Complaint or Petition;
•Summons or Return of Service;
•Form R 408 Statistical Form;
•Financial Statement from both parties; and
•Certificate of attendance at a Parent Education Program (if there are minor children).
In addition to the documents above which are part of the record of the case, the Rules of Domestic Relations Procedure require mandatory self disclosure of a whole host of financial records. (See Supplemental Rule 410 below) Also, the filing of the Complaint for Divorce effectuates an automatic restraining order requiring both parties to preserve marital assets. Failure to abide by the restraining order may be deemed a contempt of Court.
Visit us at www.bostonsbestlawyer.com or call (781) 816-3950 for a free consultation. We handle Criminal Defense and Divorce Law throughout Massachusetts. Located in Boston, Andover and Danvers, MA. - Cases involving Drunk Driving, Drugs, Violence, Sex Offenses, Theft, Divorce, Child Custody, Alimony, Child Support & Modification, Contempts & Paternity, Juveniles, Domestic Violence & Restraining Orders.
You need to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. You have the ability to hire a lawyer to just prepare your divorce paperwork or to handle your entire case. Regardless of which avenue you decide to follow, its important to remember that your happiness is essential.
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