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Filing for divorce in Massachusetts

Getting a divorce can be difficult, particularly if you have a number of assets to divide between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Having a basic understanding of the divorce process in Massachusetts is essential to make sure your divorce goes as smoothly and quickly as possible.

In Massachusetts, a divorce can be classified as "fault" or "no-fault." Generally, a fault divorce blames one spouse for the end of the marriage, whereas a no-fault divorce does not put the blame on either spouse.

"Fault" divorces fall under seven categories, including: cruel and abusive treatment, adultery, desertion, impotency, non-support, prison sentence of five years or more or confirmed habits of intoxication. A "fault" divorce is often much more complicated than a "no-fault" divorce and can take much longer to resolve.

A no-fault divorce can fall under a "1A" divorce or a "1B" divorce. A "1A" divorce is uncontested, meaning that there was an irretrievable breakdown of your marriage and you and your spouse have reached an agreement regarding all of the important divorce issues, including child support, custody, alimony and division of your marital property. A "1B" divorce is contested, meaning that only one of you believes that the marriage is beyond repair or that you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement regarding the major divorce issues. You can always change your divorce from a "1B" to a "1A" if you and your spouse come to an understanding later on.Whether your divorce is fault-based or not, contested or uncontested, you may need more information about family law to navigate the complex Massachusetts divorce process.

Source: Massachusetts Court System, "Divorce," accessed on July 18, 2017

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