DIVORCE IN MASSACHUSETTS
What is Divorce?
Put simply, divorce is a court judgement that ends an existing marriage. In Massachusetts, because you may only be married to one person at a time as a matter of law, you must get a divorce before marrying another person.
Are There Different Types of Divorce?
Yes. In Massachusetts, there are a few different types of divorce, which depend upon the circumstances between spouses. For example, a divorce may be contested or uncontested. Generally speaking, “contested” means that one party disagrees with the divorce and does not want it to happen; “Uncontested” means that both parties agree to the divorce.
Furthermore, in Massachusetts, divorce may be either fault or no-fault based. If one party alleges fault as the basis for divorce, he or she will need to persuade the court that the other person is considered at fault in causing the marriage to end. On the other hand, a no-fault divorce is a divorce in which the marriage is broken beyond repair but neither spouse blames the other for the “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage.” In Massachusetts, most people file a no-fault divorce.
Two Types of No-Fault Divorce: 1A vs. 1B
Under Massachusetts law, there are two types of no-fault divorces. First, there is what is referred to as a 1A Divorce, which is filed when both parties agree 1) that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and 2) to terms of child support, parenting time, alimony, child custody, and property division. This is referred to as an uncontested no-fault divorce. Second, there is what is referred to as a 1B Divorce, which is filed when either one or both parties believes there is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, but the two are not in agreement in regard to terms of child support, parenting time, alimony, child custody, and property division. This is referred to as a contested no-fault divorce.
What Are The Fault Based Grounds For Divorce?
Under Massachusetts law, there are seven fault based grounds for divorce. If alleging fault as the basis for divorce, at least one of the following specific grounds must be offered to the Court: non-support; desertion; adultery; gross and confirmed habits of intoxication; impotency; cruel and abusive treatment; or a prison sentence of five or more years.
How Can the Law Office of Thomas R. Davis Help You?
Because there is so much at stake in a divorce - from child support and custody to alimony and property division - it may be in your best interest to contact an attorney to learn more about the options available to ensure that your rights are protected. If your goal is to get what you are entitled to, it is imperative to have a strong advocate by your side. Our law office is dedicated to helping individuals and families get through the divorce process as successfully and smoothly as possible.
If you have any questions regarding divorce, call us any time at (617) 319-0885 for a free, no obligation attorney consultation.