Submitted by admin on Fri, 08/15/2008 - 09:26
I need to file for a divorce. I don't want the divorce to turn into a war, but can I file for a no fault divorce without the participation of my husband? -- Carol, Northfield
Well, I don't know if the grounds you choose will help you avoid a war, but you can file for a "No Fault" divorce without your husband's participation. In Massachusetts there are two ways to file for a "No Fault" divorce, and both are described in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 208 as divorce based on "an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage." The difference between the two has to do with the level of cooperation between the parties. In a Chapter 208 1A divorce, the parties have reached an agreement on all relevant issues (including child support, visitation, division of property, etc.) and together file a "Joint Petition for Divorce." In a Chapter 208 1B divorce, only one of the parties files a document called a "Complaint for Divorce." In this case, the parties have either failed to reach an agreement on all relevant issues, or one of the parties does not agree that there has been an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage.
For more information, you might check out the Suffolk County Probate & Family Court Website at www.probatecourtiannella.com. The site has information and self-help brochures on a range of subjects, including divorce, child support, and domestic violence. Good luck. (Submitted by the Editor)