What Types of Divorce are Available in Massachusetts?


There are two types of divorce in Massachusetts. The first is what’s known as an uncontested divorce and the second is referred to as contested divorce.

In an uncontested divorce both spouses agree to get a divorce, and also agree to the terms of a divorce, then they can file a Joint Petition for Divorce pursuant to M.G.L. c. 208 §1A, along with a Separation Agreement, which outlines the terms of the divorce settlement, and also a Financial Statement for each spouse, and an Affidavit of Irretrievable Breakdown, outlining that the marriage is irretrievably broken and there is no chance at reconciliation. 

Divorce mediation is a great and cost effective way to resolve an uncontested divorce. Through a divorce mediator, spouses can negotiate the terms of settlement for the divorce, which the divorce mediator will facilitate. The divorce mediator will then prepare the necessary documents that must be filed with the court. Learn more about divorce mediation.

In a contested divorce, if only one spouse either agrees to the divorce, or the parties disagree to the terms of the divorce, then one spouse may file for a contested divorce by filing a Complaint for Divorce. 

There are many grounds upon which a spouse may file for a contested divorce, but the most popular is the no-fault grounds of Irretrievable Breakdown of the Marriage. With no-fault grounds, the spouse does not have to prove any grounds for fault to obtain a divorce. 

However, with the other fault-based grounds of divorce, the spouse must affirmatively prove the grounds of divorce alleged to obtain a divorce. These fault-based grounds include: 1) Adultery; 2) Cruel and Abusive Treatment; 3) Gross and Confirmed Habits of Intoxication; 4) Gross or Wanton and Cruel Refusal or Neglect to Provide Suitable Support; 5) Impotency; 6) Sentence or Confinement to Prison; and 7) Utter Desertion.

If you want to discuss getting a divorce in Massachusetts, then contact one of our divorce attorneys today. Please contact us today to discuss any of your Divorce questions or concerns. Call our office at (617) 539-1010 ext 111 for a confidential consultation with Attorney Amaral. Attorney Amaral will explain the Estate Planning process and answer any questions that you have.

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