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Your Massachusetts Divorce Laws 2017

Discover Your Massachusetts Divorce Laws and Save Time… ….by Understanding the Divorce Process in Massachusetts


Massachusetts Residency Requirement
According to the Massachusetts Divorce Laws and Massachusetts Divorce Guidelines, to get divorced in Massachusetts. In a case where the grounds for divorce occured in Massachusetts, one of the spouses must be a resident, otherwise the spouse filing for divorce must have been a resident for at least one year.

Place of Divorce (Venue)
The case may be filed in:
(1) County in which the spouses last lived together
(2) County where either spouse currently resides

Simplified or Special Divorce Procedures
An action for divorce on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown of the marriage may be instituted by filing:
(1) a petition signed by both spouses;
(2) a sworn affidavit that an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage exists;
(3) a notarized separation agreement signed by both spouses. A marital settlement agreement is an acceptable substitute for a separation agreement. No summons will be required. Such petitions are to be given a speedy hearing. Marital fault is not to be considered in any decision of the court on property division or maintenance. In addition, there are sample divorce forms for use in divorces set out in the Massachusetts Rules of Court Appendix of Forms. A Financial Statement must be filed in all divorce cases. There is an official Child Support Guidelines Worksheet contained in the Appendix of Forms. Finally, in every action for divorce, a Public Health Statistical Report must be filed by each spouse.

Massachusetts Grounds for Divorce
Grounds for a No-Fault divorce:
(1) Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage

Grounds for a Fault based divorce:
(1) Impotence
(2) imprisonment for over 5 years
(3) adultery
(4) alcoholism and/or drug addiction
(5) desertion without support of spouse for 1 year before the filing for divorce
(6) cruel and inhuman treatment
(7) nonsupport (a spouse is able to provide support but doesnt)


NOTE: Regardless of the reason of the breakdown of the marriage or the reason for filing for divorce in Massachusetts, the Divorce Do It Yourself Service will do divorces on an "Agreed" basis or a “Default” basis.

  • An Agreed Divorce , defined by Massachusetts divorce guidelines and Massachusetts divorce laws, is a scenario where the spouses agree on the terms of the divorce such as Massachusetts property distribution, Massachusetts child support, or Massachusetts child custody. Most of our clients (75%) prefer the Agreed Divorce method and both spouses sign the divorce papers and are agreed to the terms of divorce.

  • A Default Divorce , from the Massachusetts divorce guidelines and MA divorce laws, is a divorce where your spouse doesn’t sign the Massachusetts Divorce paperwork or Massachusetts divorce forms. They simply doesn’t do anything at all… with the divorce. They simply default on their side of the case. And YOU who filed FIRST get whatever you ask for in the originally filed divorce forms. NICE

Missing Spouse in Massachusetts
If your spouse is missing and you cannot locate him/her, after diligent effort, you may still get a divorce in Massachusetts. It may involve the small expense of running a newspaper ad or something similar. We help you through the process with our FREE Missing Spouse Package.

Wife’s Last Name Change
The wife may, if she chooses, receive her Maiden Name back during the divorce. Our Divorce Service includes this name change in our service for FREE.


Massachusetts Divorce Resources
Here are the important divorce resources for Massachusetts:


Process to file for Divorce in Massachusetts
There are only three basic procedural steps to a divorce:

  • File Divorce Papers for Massachusetts (Massachusetts Divorce Forms)
  • Notify Spouse of your filing for divorce in Massachusetts
  • Attend your Massachusetts divorce hearing


How The Massachusetts Divorce Service Works

Divorce Process in Massachusetts

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Your Massachusetts Child Custody Laws
Definitions: (source: divorce process in Massachusetts and MA divorce laws)

  • Visitation is the proposed plan the spouses have on WHERE the children will live and WHEN the children will see each parent
  • Legal Custody is the ability to make decisions in the life of the children. Such as, where the children will attend school and which church they will go to.
  • Physical Custody Is the choice of the location of where the children will live and which spouse they live with.

Massachusetts Child Custody in a shared arrangement, is the usual preferred method of our Massachusetts divorce clients. If a sole-custody arrangement is what you would like, then there is usually a very good reason for it. Usually the financial status of a parent is not usually considered for allocating any parental rights and responsibilities. Shared Custody or Sole Child Custody is to be awarded according to the “best interests of the child.” That is the gold standard.

Massachusetts Child Support Laws
If the parents are unable to agree to an amount of child support, there are guidelines that determine the amount of support based on the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines. The guideline amount is presumed to arrive at an amount of support that is in the child's best interest. But, most divorcing spouses agree to a figure on their own, that will work just fine. Also, in most situations, -0- Child Support is OK if both spouses are working and can manage. This is also true for a Legal Separation in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Child Support Calculator
You can calculate your child support in Massachusetts right here.
Massachusetts Divorce Laws for Property Distribution
In an Uncontested "Agreed Divorce" or "Default Divorce" the property is divided so that both parties agree to the division. The main concern here is to agree to the property division so that it doesn’t create a fight that one party will want to go to a Massachusetts divorce lawyer or divorce attorney to make the case into a Contested Divorce. Then you will have to incur the fees of a lawyer too.

  • Debts Most divorcing spouses set out who will pay what debts as part of their marital settlement agreement during the divorce process, and close all of their joint accounts.
  • Massachusetts Alimony Laws (Massachusetts Spousal Support Laws) In an Uncontested Divorce, Alimony may be awarded to either spouse for their support and maintenance after the divorce. Both parties must agree to it. Since most spouses are working, alimony (if awarded at all), is usually for a shorter period of time, and smaller amount than in the past. In the Massachusetts divorce laws for alimony, it is possible for alimony to be paid in a lump sum payment of money or a payment plan. Alimony is not required for a person to get divorced in Massachusetts.

Local Court Filing Fees
Your Local Court filing fees are not included in the price of our service usually. After, filing your divorce in Massachusetts, the court fees must usually be paid when you file the divorce papers at your local county courthouse. It is best to call your local county court and ask what the fees are in your County to file for divorce. Regardless of whether you are going through a divorce service, using a Massachusetts divorce kit, using a divorce attorney (or divorce lawyer), or doing a nearly free divorce in Massachusetts, you will always be paying the local court fees.


Divorce Laws and Guidelines





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