This Legal Guide will outline the 4 Step process to filing for divorce in The State of Massachusetts.
Spouse may file for an at-fault divorce
In Massachusetts, a spouse may file for an at-fault divorce, alleging marital misconduct on the part of the other spouse. Some examples are adultery, impotency, prolonged incarceration, abuse and neglect, or prolonged and regular use of alcohol and/or drugs.
Massachusetts also allows for a no-fault divorce filing. There are Two Types:
1A. filing is a joint petition where neither spouse is contesting and there are no other assets, custody issues, property issues, in dispute shown threw an affidavit and a signed, written agreement.
1B. filing is a petition by only one spouse with the other contesting the divorce and other issues i.e. financial, custody, marital property. This filing says to the court that the couple can*t resolve these issues on their own. This filing also needs to be served upon the other spouse. 1B filings can convert to 1A filings if the couple resolves the issues on their own shown through an affidavit and a signed, written agreement.
Both spouses need to fill out a financial disclosure.
Use the short form if the combined household income is less than $75,000.00. The court intervenes with a fair and reasonable distribution of the property based on several factors i.e. length of the marriage, income, health and station of life of the spouses, and what*s in the best interest of any minor children if any. The court will not automatically split everything down the middle.
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