To file for an uncontested divorce in Massachusetts, you must agree with your spouse about the no-fault reason why your marriage ends, meet the state's residency requirement, and have an agreement with your spouse about the issues of your divorce. If you have decided to end your marriage, you may choose to file for divorce. You can file for divorce in Massachusetts if you have lived in the state for a year, or if the reason why the marriage ended occurred in Massachusetts and you have lived in Massachusetts as a couple. You can find information here on how to file for divorce, what are the types of divorce, how to get a copy of your divorce record and more.
Massachusetts does not have “legal separation”. You don't need permission from the court to live away from your spouse. Separation agreements often occur before a divorce to establish the terms of child custody, the division of debts and property, and what to do with the family home. It will also make it easier to finalize your divorce, as those terms will be favored during the proceeding.
In Massachusetts, you can choose to use divorce mediation instead of a court hearing to end your marriage. Mediation is completely voluntary and the mediator's decision is not binding. However, it's a good way to create a separation agreement that can then be used to file a “1A” divorce without a lawyer. If your spouse does not file a response, the court will schedule a case management conference to discuss your case.
The court will only do this if you have returned the summons to court. There is no legal separation, in Massachusetts. You don't have to get permission from the court to live apart from your spouse. It is legal to live separately from your spouse.
Both spouses must attend the hearing, unless the court has accepted an attendance waiver for one of the spouses. In uncontested divorces, separation agreements are completed prior to filing for divorce because the agreement is filed concurrently with your uncontested divorce petition. The process itself was extremely overwhelming and emotional, but having the best lawyer and divorce practice on my side gave me confidence that I would get everything I deserved and needed to move on with my life. There are simplified divorce procedures for people who fully agree and can apply to you.
If the agreement is accepted, it becomes a binding contract and the judge will incorporate the terms into a divorce decree. It is very important that the documents are accurate, otherwise your divorce could be dismissed or you would not be able to get the things that you and your spouse thought you agreed to. When deciding to live apart, divorce, or contest certain issues, weigh the price you'll pay with your time, emotional pain, and money. In a fault divorce, Massachusetts law requires that the person filing for divorce provide a specific reason for ending the marriage.
You also have the option of filing for divorce and claiming a person is to blame for the failure of the marriage. Explain how you are going to divide your property, child custody, child support, alimony, visitation, and any other issues related to your divorce. If the court does not grant divorce at the Case Management Conference, the next hearing date must be assigned. Reasons why courts changed custody orders include toxic remarriage, recent drug or alcohol abuse, failure in school, denial of rights for non-custodial parents, and unwillingness or inability to care for a child's needs.
The first person to file the application will choose the grounds for divorce or if he files for a no-fault divorce. For an uncontested divorce settlement to be possible, you and your spouse must reach a complete agreement on ALL possible issues, including but not limited to issues related to asset division, debt, and child custody and visitation issues, if any. In addition to legally ending your marriage, the court examines other matters that must be decided before the divorce is final. A contested divorce will cause the court to implement an automatic financial restraining order that prohibits parties from changing beneficiaries of insurance or retirement assets, incurring debts in the other person's name, or converting assets without joint or judicial approval.