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Uncontested divorce, no children, no property, no assets. Do we need an attorney?

Boston, MA |

We want to get divorced because our marriage didn't work out. We have been married almost 3 years, but it is not working.

If there are no children, no property, and no assets, how long will it take to get divorced in Massachusetts? Is there any way to make the process faster? Do we need an attorney in this case?

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Attorney answers 4


You should always have an attorney. Are any pensions involved? It should take less than 6 months if MA has a waiting period. If it does not have a waiting period, it should be over in two to four weeks.

Bruce A. Brennan


If one party files and allows the court to schedule everything, depending on the county you might wait 6 months for a pre-trial date. How fast things proceed depends on how cooperative the parties are in reaching a final agreement. An attorney could help you with filings to make the process move a bit faster. If there are truly no contested issues and the two of you want to collaborate on the process, you can file jointly for divorce. However, you may still want to have an attorney help with all the required paperwork to indicate to the court that you have a fair agreement.

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You should speak to an attorney to get some guidance of the process and what will be required. Many of the Probate Courts have a Lawyer of the Day program to offer some assistance. The fastest you can get divorced when all parties agree from the beginning is 4 months from the filing date, or 9 months from the filing date if it starts out as contested. Due to how busy the courts are, it will likely take a little longer.

DISCLAIMER: This answer is provided in response to a "hypothetical" question and provided for general, informational purposes and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The information presented is not legal advice and may change based additional information and research. It is recommended that you speak to an attorney to discuss your specific legal issues.


I am not sure if you need an attorney or not. Depends on whether you truly own no assets, the sophistication of you and your spouse, the level of trust and openness between you, and other factors. Be aware that an attorney can only represent one of you at a time. A mediator, on the other hand, can guide you both - but mediators can be quite expensive. Using an attorney generally ensures everything gets done right, but obviously we cost money.

To make a long story short, one of you should go to the Probate and Family Court in your county and get two copies of the packet for a Joint Petition for Divorce. Generally speaking, there is a six month waiting period before this type of divorce can be finalized. Below are links to the general Joint Petition packet for MA as well as the Hampshire County Probate and Family Court information page, which offers not only excellent information that applies throughout MA, but also features several sample Separation Agreements that you won't find offered in other counties (obviously the documents should not say "Hampshire" if that is not your county, but otherwise, but otherwise they work fine).

Check with your local court, but you will likely need a bank check for $215.00 to file the Joint Petition.

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