Many couples start out in marriage with great hopes and expectations, only to end up in a relationship that unfortunately does not work. There are many steps in the divorce process in Massachusetts and just as many avenues to take depending on your situation. Here is a brief introduction to filing for divorce in Massachusetts and some of what you may encounter.
- A divorce can be categorized as “no-fault” or “fault.”
- If both parties agree on the categorization, the divorce is called “uncontested.” If one of the two parties disagrees with it, though, it is then called “contested.”
- A fault divorce can be more costly and drawn out than a no-fault one. This is because of the process required to prove the fault of the accused spouse.
- There are seven categories of a fault divorce: adultery, impotency, desertion, cruel and abusive treatment, gross and confirmed habits of intoxication, a prison sentence of five years or longer, and non-support.
- There are two categories of a no-fault divorce. They are “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage 1A,” and “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage 1B.”
- 1A means that both spouses agree that neither are to blame for the end of the marriage, and they have reached an agreement regarding any alimony, asset distribution, child support, or custody arrangements. (AKA- Uncontested no-fault divorce)
- 1B means that both spouses agree that neither are to blame for the end of the marriage, but they cannot reach an agreement on assets, custody arrangements, etc. (AKA- Contested no-fault divorce)
- A 1A divorce is final 120 days from the date of judgement.
- A 1B divorce is final 90 days after the hearing so long as a judgement is entered. (You will have a hearing for a 1B case because the accusing spouse must prove the fault of the other spouse.)
These are just a few of the terms and categories that you will run into when filing for the dissolution of your marriage. An experienced divorce attorney will help make the process go as smoothly as possible. We will advise you on how to proceed with your case in the most cost effective and time efficient manner. Call our office to speak with an experienced divorce attorney and learn your options.