Can I Get Legally Separated in Massachusetts


Are you currently separated or planning on getting divorced? You might be asking yourself the question, Can I get legally separated in Massachusetts?

Even though you are still married you might be living separate lives, but legally a couple cannot get separated in Massachusetts however, if they are living apart either of them can file a Complaint for Separate Support. Here are the criteria for filing the complaint.

In the complaint, the Plaintiff must allege one of the following: 1) the Defendant is not providing suitable support, without justifiable cause; 2) the Plaintiff has been deserted by the defendant; 3) the Plaintiff is actually living apart from the Defendant for justifiable cause; or 4) the Plaintiff has justifiable cause for living apart from the Defendant.

In the action, the spouse may seek the following relief: 1) establish that such living apart from the Defendant is for justifiable cause; 2) prohibit Defendant from imposing any restraint on Plaintiff’s personal liberty; 3) grant custody of the minor and unemancipated children; 4) order suitable amount of support for the Plaintiff and/or minor children with suitable provision for health insurance; 5) order conveyance of real estate owned by the parties.

Thus, although there is no formal “legal separation” in Massachusetts, a Complaint for Separate Support allows spouses to live separate and apart, and can permit a court to issue orders regarding child custody, child support, alimony, and property division. This, in essence, accomplishes all that a divorce accomplishes, except the parties remain married.

Spouses can also consider executing a Postnuptial Agreement. A Postnuptial Agreement is similar to a Prenuptial Agreement, but is executed after the couple is already married. The Postnuptial Agreement outlines the rights and responsibilities of each spouse in the event of a separation or divorce. It also outlines how your assets will be divided, as well as other issues, such as the payment of alimony, and which spouse will provide medical insurance.

Please reach out to one of our Boston Divorce Lawyers or Postnuptial Attorneys today. Please contact us today to discuss any of your Divorce questions or financial concerns. Call our office at (617) 539-1010 ext. 111 for a confidential consultation with Attorney Edward Amaral. Attorney Amaral will explain the Divorce process and financial issues while taking the time to answer any questions that you have.

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