If one party wants the divorce, there will be a divorce. A marriage is irretrievably broken if one side wants out. The only issues will be the division of assets, whether there will be alimony (and if so, how much and for how long), and custody of minor children (if any).
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.
Either party has the right to divorce in Massachusetts. The "no fault" refers to the fact that you do not need to allege the traditional reasons for divorce (abuse, infidelity, etc.) in order to obtain a divorce. You can make the process more adversarial if you want, but you cannot prevent the divorce.
If you are not enjoying the legal process--and especially if you do not want to get divorced--you may want to consider divorce mediation.
I am not your attorney and am therefore giving only general advice. DO NOT rely on this advice to make your decisions. Please see a local attorney, licensed in your state, for further advice.
If you think your lawyer is "working against you," you should try to talk with him/her about your wishes. You can always hire another lawyer if you are still not happy. However, you should consider the cost (financial and emotional) of fighting a divorce since no-fault divorce is allowed in this state. Good luck!
The information you obtain from this Answer is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. This Answer is for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice regarding your own situation, please consult an attorney.
If your husband has filed for divorce based on the irretrievable breakdown in the marriage, you can counterclaim with a fault based claim. Fault based grounds for divorce are limited: - 1) Cruel and abusive treatment; 2) Utter desertion continued for one year: 3) A prison sentence of five years or more; 4) Confirmed habits of intoxication by the use of liquor, opium or other drugs; 5) Refusal or neglect to provide suitable support and maintenance for the other spouse; 6) Adultery; 7) Impotency.
Filing a fault based counterclaim will not stop the divorce process; it will simply allow you to assert a stronger argument for alimony, division of assets, and other damages.
Be careful what you allege in your counterclaim because you should have a good faith belief in what you claim and you will have to prove the allegations -- that can be very difficult. If you are found to have alleged frivolous claims, you made raise the ire of the probate court and undermine your credibility. It may disadvantage you in a judicial settlement of your divorce.
It will certainly make settlement negotiations much more difficult and probably drive the divorce into trial proceedings, making the process very expensive for both of you. You may be less happy with the court’s decision than with what you could have negotiated.
Remember the Judgment of Solomon.
This is not legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should speak to an attorney for further information.
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