2 Types of Massachusetts Divorces

by | Aug 16, 2021 | Divorce |

One way to legally end a marriage and be able to marry again is to file and obtain a divorce in the Probate and Family Court. There is a $220 filing fee unless the court finds you eligible for a fee waiver.

There are two different types of divorce, a no-fault divorce pursuant to M.G.L. c. 208 s. 1A and 1B or a fault-based divorce pursuant to M.G.L. c. 208 s. 1B.

No-Fault Divorce

A no-fault divorce pursuant to M.G.L. c. 208 s. 1A or 1B is a marriage that ended in irretrievable breakdown, which means that at least one spouse believes the marriage cannot be fixed.

No-Fault Divorce Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 208 s. 1A (Joint Petition for Divorce)

If a couple is in agreement on all divorce related issues including child custody, support, parenting time, alimony, and division of assets and debts, they can file a no-fault divorce together. The parties file a “Joint Petition for Divorce” along with an “Affidavit of Irretrievable Breakdown of the Marriage,” and a fully executed separation agreement. Both parties must then appear in court for a hearing where a Judge determines if the agreement is fair and equitable.

No-Fault Divorce Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 208 s. 1B (Complaint for Divorce)

If the parties are unable to come to an agreement, or if one party is unavailable or unwilling to sign a joint petition for divorce, the other party may file a no-fault divorce. S/he files a “Complaint for Divorce” and is referred to as the “plaintiff” in the divorce proceedings. The other spouse is referred to as the “defendant.” The plaintiff files a no-fault divorce under the grounds of “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.” There is a statutory six month waiting period from the date the 1B Complaint for divorce is filed until the earliest date a divorce can be granted.

Should you be in the midst of or contemplating a divorce, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.

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