Massachusetts Divorce Law Requirements
Divorce Residency Requirements in Massachusetts
One of the spouses must be a Massachusetts residence to qualify in filing the divorce forms in the said State. If the grounds for divorce happened outside of Massachusetts, then one party must have lived in the State for at least one year.
Massachusetts Grounds For Divorce
Massachusetts has both fault and no-fault categories of divorce, which can either be contested or uncontested. No-Fault means there is no need for either party to prove who was responsible for the marital union to collapse while fault divorce points out the spouse responsible for the marriage to fail.
No Fault Ground:
Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage – If both parties have agreed on major things like child custody and support, parenting time, division of assets, then it is a No-Fault, uncontested divorce. If the marital union is broken down with no significant hopes of reconciliation but the parties cannot resolve disputes, it is a No-Fault, contested divorce.
Massachusetts General Laws chapter 208, section 1 enumerates Fault Grounds for Divorce such as:
- Adultery committed by either party
- Incarceration of at least five years
- Cruel and abusive treatment
- Non-support of one spouse to the other spouse when he is capable of providing support
Child Custody Law in Massachusetts
Child custody is a serious battle and could take a toll on the child. Hence, it is of paramount importance that the child’s welfare and happiness be considered by the court in handing down a child custody decision. The court also takes a look into the child’s home environment and see if it adversely affects his general well-being.
Guidelines for Massachusetts Child Support
Child support aims to cover the expenses necessary for the child’s development, hence it must help pay for the child’s education, food, medical expenses, clothing, housing, child-care costs, and often, including health insurance where it is available at a reasonable cost. Typically it’s the non-custodial parent that is obligated to pay child support. Both parents are expected by law to support the child in different aspects.
The State of Massachusetts provides a comprehensive set of guidelines in the computation of child support, which is based on the Percentage of Income Formula.
Child support shall be in effect until the child reaches 18 years old or until he or she finishes secondary school.
Where to file for a divorce?
The petitioner may file the Massachusetts divorce papers in the county of residence of either party or where they last lived together.
For a fast and inexpensive divorce process, you can file Massachusetts online divorce forms.
Refer to the “Divorce Requirements for Massachusetts Residents” above and also review the best online divorce sites.
Mediation in Massachusetts is referred to a divorce without a court. Divorce mediation allows parties to decide on their own case amicably, facilitated by a mediator. A mediator cannot decide for the parties involved. A mediator makes it easy for both parties to come up with a win-win resolution to their disputed agenda surrounding their divorce action.
Need information for a different state?
You may also visit the Massachusetts Courts for more information