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MA Divorce and Family Law Questions and Answers

divorce

Welcome to our Massachusetts Divorce Law Forum, an extensive collection of frequently asked questions (FAQ) and answers dealing with MA divorce law and MA family law issues, including child support, custody, and alimony.

Have a question?  Because we have so much information about MA divorce law, you may want to use our search tool, below. Simply enter the key words from your question. For example, if you have a question about 401 k plans and divorce in Massachusetts, enter the keywords: 401 k and divorce. If you are interested in whether you may be entitled to alimony, enter: MA divorce alimony. For questions about Massachusetts divorce mediation, visit our MA divorce mediation forum.  

If you need professional legal advice, please use our Attorney Directory to find MA divorce lawyers.

Massachusetts Divorce and Family Law Basics

Before we get to the forum, here is some basic information about divorce in Massachusetts. As you read this synopsis, if you see terms you do not understand or that you would like more information about, just use our search tool to find more in-depth discussions. Although family law encompasses many subjects in addition to divorce, including adoption and annulment, in this section we focus on the basic information you will need to understand divorce in MA and to begin the process.

Today, as it was in the past, it is still possible to file for divorce based on fault grounds, such as adultery, abusive treatment, impotency, desertion, confinement to prison, and “gross habits of intoxication.” Typically, however, modern divorces in MA are “no fault,” meaning both parties acknowledge the marriage is broken and that it cannot be repaired, and neither party attempts to blame the other for this breakdown. The main reason fault divorces are rare is that they require the filing party to prove the grounds, something that can be difficult and expensive.

No fault divorces in Massachusetts are often referred to as “1A” and “1B” divorces, in reference to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 208, Sections 1A and 1B. In a 1A divorce, both spouses file an affidavit attesting to the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, a petition for divorce, and Separation Agreement. In a 1B divorce, one spouse files a Complaint for Divorce. When this happens, it does not matter if the other party agrees to get a divorce, and no Separation Agreement is required.

Once the action is commenced, the length and cost of the proceedings will vary, based primarily by how well the two spouses are able to work together and come to agreements on the key points, including property division, custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, etc. If the parties are able to cooperate, they can file jointly, include documentation to support the proposed settlement contained in the Separation Agreement, and wait for the divorce to be finalized.

In other cases, where the proceedings are not amicable, the process can take some time and be quite expensive. Divorce litigation will usually include discovery (including interrogatories, depositions, and requests for financial records and other documents). Pretrial motions will also be filed, regarding such things as court dates and discovery disputes. When children are involved, the process may be even more involved, as you and your spouse work through issues related to custody, visitation and support.

Hope all that helps. Please let us know what you think.

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TopicRepliesCreatedLast replysort icon
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2 42 weeks 4 days ago
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3 1 year 29 weeks ago
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1 1 year 27 weeks ago
by tanya.griffin
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3 1 year 28 weeks ago
by RedClark
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by wyckoffn
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2 1 year 28 weeks ago
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1 1 year 31 weeks ago
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4 5 years 32 weeks ago
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1 1 year 33 weeks ago
by stevefeit
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2 1 year 35 weeks ago
by glitter1987
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3 1 year 37 weeks ago
by JennyinMA
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by tdbar
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1 1 year 36 weeks ago
by winter99
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1 1 year 37 weeks ago
by hammysmom
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1 1 year 37 weeks ago
by sadness
1 year 37 weeks ago
by Boston Probate ...
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1 1 year 39 weeks ago
by Stressedmom24
1 year 38 weeks ago
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3 1 year 40 weeks ago
by Andrew woodford
1 year 39 weeks ago
by Andrew woodford
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1 1 year 39 weeks ago
by CaelanT
1 year 39 weeks ago
by Boston Probate ...
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1 1 year 39 weeks ago
by WilDeliver
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1 1 year 39 weeks ago
by meghara1
1 year 39 weeks ago
by The Editor
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2 1 year 40 weeks ago
by LynMCo
1 year 39 weeks ago
by LynMCo
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2 1 year 40 weeks ago
by slmunger66
1 year 40 weeks ago
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1 1 year 41 weeks ago
by humblefarmer
1 year 40 weeks ago
by allan@baronlawm...
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3 1 year 41 weeks ago
by unsure
1 year 41 weeks ago
by unsure
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2 1 year 41 weeks ago
by Ibrahim mustafa
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1 1 year 41 weeks ago
by Factory_Hag
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1 1 year 42 weeks ago
by trulystuck
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by Local Lawyer
Divorced in NH but need modifications to judgment in MA
Hello, my ex and I got divorced in NH but I live in Massachusetts now, and he lives in VT In our custody agreement we have shared custody, h...
2 1 year 42 weeks ago
by mkeyser25
1 year 42 weeks ago
by allan@baronlawm...

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