Massachusetts Divorce Requirements
Chapter 208 of the Massachusetts Statutes contains all of the requirements to getting divorced in Massachusetts.
Chapter 208 of the Massachusetts Statutes contains all of the divorce requirements and outlines how to file divorce in Massachusetts. Massachusetts divorce requirements are governed by Chapter 208, which establishes the divorce requirement rules unique to Massachusetts family law that must be followed. In a nutshell, Massachusetts Divorce can be summed up as follows:
- All that is required to obtain dissolution of marriage is that the marriage be “irretrievably broken.” Either spouse can file for the dissolution of marriage.
- You OR your spouse must meet the residency requirement: If the grounds for divorce occurred in Massachusetts, one spouse must be a resident of Massachusetts. If the grounds occurred outside of Massachusetts, one spouse must be resident for at least one year prior to the time of filing the complaint for divorce.
- You and your spouse must exchange financial affidavits without exception.
- For those with property and/or children, you and your spouse must enter into a Marital Settlement Agreement which resolves all issues concerning division of assets, debts, custody, visitation and support.
- One of the most difficult and complex areas of divorce in Massachusetts divorce laws is the division of marital property and liabilities (debts). Marital property may include cars, houses, retirement benefits (pensions), business interests, cash, stocks, bonds, bank accounts, personal property, and other things of value. Liabilities include mortgages, car loans, credit card accounts, and other debts. Generally, any asset or liability acquired during the marriage is considered marital and subject to distribution and must be accounted for in your divorce paperwork. The simplest way to divide your property and debt is to do so in the financial affidavits you and your spouse prepare and file with the court.
For Divorce Requirements in Massachusetts Including Residency, Financial Affidavits, Irretrievable Broke Marriage, Marital Settlement Agreement, Marital Property and More!
- Mediation is a procedure to assist you and your spouse in working out an arrangement for reaching agreement without a protracted process or a trial. Its purpose is not to save a marriage, but to help divorcing couples reach a solution to their problems and arrive at agreeable terms for handling their dissolution. Many counties have mediation services available. Some counties, whether you reside in Springfield, MA, Worcester, MA or any other Massachusetts city, require couples to attempt mediation (a settlement conference) before a trial can be set.
- If you feel you are the victim of domestic violence, repeat violence, or sexual violence, you should contact the office of the family law clerk of the circuit court in your county or the local domestic violence shelter for information and assistance.
Divorce requirements are complex but must be followed in order for your Massachusetts lawyer to properly prepare all required legal documents for your divorce in Massachusetts.