See if you Qualify in Massachusetts
Online Divorce provides qualitative and approved by the court Massachusetts divorce papers. The information below will help you understand more about the divorce in Massachusetts. However, if you feel any doubt or insecurities, we will help you figure out how get your divorce form documents quickly and correctly filled out according to the rules set by the state without hiring an Attorney. onlinedivorce.com provides quick and inexpensive services of online divorce in Massachusetts. We guarantee that in a short time you will receive the correct Massachusetts divorce documents with specific circumstances of your divorce, as well as a detailed instruction on what to do next.
Below you can find common steps of how to get divorce in Massachusetts:
1) The first condition for obtaining a divorce in Massachusetts must be that your marriage is valid. In other words, your marriage is recognized in the eyes of state law and has the right to exist.
2) You must comply with the conditions of living in the state, in other words, you or your spouse must be residents of Massachusetts for a certain time before filing a lawsuit.
3) You must have a convincing reason for dissolving the marriage. They can be both no-fault and fault. If you file for divorce on the basis of fault grounds, you also have to provide evidence to the court of the fault of your spouse.
4) If you have underage children born in marriage or property, then you must decide with your spouse who will be the main guardian and how your property will be divided. Also, you must decide on the amount of financial support for a minor child, as well as the amount of alimony and the period of their payment to one of the spouses who needs financial support. If you can not come to a common solution, then all disputable issues will be decided by the court in the course of meetings.
5) You have to fill out Massachusetts divorce papers. This is one of the longest and most time consuming processes, because what kind of documents you should fill out will depend on the type of your divorce. It does not matter, either it is uncontested, or it is a contested divorce, you still need to fill out the forms established by the law of the state of Massachusetts. Please note that if you make mistakes when filling out forms or fill out documents that do not relate to the circumstances of your divorce, the court will reject your application, which will lead to the fact that your divorce proceedings will be delayed. However, do not be afraid, you can initiate an online divorce in Massachusetts using the online divorce service, simply by answering questions about your marriage. In this way it can greatly speed up the process of divorce, as well as give you guarantees that you will receive correctly filled papers that correspond to the circumstances of your divorce.
6) As soon as you file Massachusetts divorce papers to the court, you are obliged to send copies of these documents to your spouse, and then to provide the court with a certificate stating that your spouse has been notified of the commencement of the divorce proceedings. After this, you will have to wait for some time until the court makes a decision on divorce, it may take up to 8 months. If you and your spouse have controversial issues, then you will need to appear in court for a meeting to resolve disputes.
If you want to file for a divorce in Massachusetts, then you or your spouse must be residents of the state and live on the territory of the state for 1 year. With this, you must file a lawsuit in the district where you or your spouse reside. Just keep in mind that if you are applying for divorce on the basis of the fault reasons, then the grounds for divorce should have occurred in the state of Massachusetts. If you do not meet the living conditions, then to get a divorce in the state of Massachusetts, the grounds for divorce should have occurred on the territory of the state.
Valid Grounds to get divorce
If your relationship with your spouse is broken and the only way out of this situation may be a divorce, then consider that you must give the court grounds for the reason you want to interrupt the marriage. The grounds for divorce in Massachusetts are of two kinds: no-fault and fault. Under the no-fault grounds it means that you claim that your marriage is irretrievably broken and there is no chance of restoring the relationship. The fault reasons include:
3) desertion for one year before the divorce;
4) alcohol or drug addiction;
5) cruel treatment or violence or a hard refusal to support a spouse;
If you file a divorce in Massachusetts based on fault grounds, you will need to provide the court with incontrovertible evidence of your spouse's guilt. For many couples this can be a morally difficult process, since all of your dirty laundry will be taken out during court sessions. If you want to leave your personal life in the past, then it is more reasonable to file for divorce on the basis of innocent reasons, simply declaring that your marriage is irretrievably broken and you and your spouse can no longer be in marital relations.
Regardless of which of the reasons you want to file for a divorce, the reason must necessarily be indicated in your divorce form documents. Therefore, approach this process as responsibly as possible, so that you do not have to redo your Massachusetts divorce papers. Remember that you can always turn for help to the service of Online Divorce in Massachusetts - the best provider of documents for divorce in USA.
One of the types to terminate a marriage is annulment. Annulment means that from a legal point of view, marriage never existed. It means that at the time of the marriage certain conditions were violated, so this marriage has no legal effect. Couples may want instead of divorce in Massachusetts to obtain annulment for various reasons: both social and religious. However, in order to cancel the marriage, it is necessary that at least one of the following conditions is met:
1) the spouses are related closer than first cousin, or the spouse of a close relative;
2) one spouse had a living husband or wife at the time of marriage;
3) if one of the spouses fraudulently forced the second spouse to marry. For example, a wife lied to her husband that she was pregnant with him, manipulating him to marry her. Or if the husband entered into marriage only in order to obtain an immigration status;
4) one spouse is impotent;
5) one of the spouses had a contagious disease before marriage and did not inform the second spouse about it. for example, one of the spouses had an indistinguishable venereal disease, while the parties in marriage had not yet entered into sexual intercourse;
6) one of the spouses was not mentally competent at the time of the marriage ceremony and could not voluntarily consent to marry;
7) one of the spouses did not come of age at the time of marriage. Although if, at the same time, he or she had permission from the custodian in writing form to conclude a marriage, then such marriage is not subject to annulment.
One of the important conditions for annulment should be that you have not cohabited with your spouse since the moment you learned that one of the above reasons exists in your marriage. If you decide that your marriage should be canceled, then you need to file a special form in court, which is called a "Complaint for Annulment", after which you should provide copies of documents to your spouse. After the court revokes the marriage, it can still decide on the custody of children and in financial support. In spite of the fact that annulled marriage never has legal force, children born in this marriage are considered legitimate, unless it is an incestuous marriage. Thus, the court will decide on the custody of a minor child, if any existed in the marriage. And also a decision on his or her financial support. Courts also have the right to consider questions regarding the division of joint property.
Custody of the Child
With a divorce in Massachusetts custody of the child can be awarded to both parents or third party, if this is in accordance with the best interests of the child. There are such types of guardianship in the state of Massachusetts:
physical custody - is the choice of the guardian with whom the child will live each day;
legal custody - the choice of a guardian who is authorized to make important decisions in the life of the child, for example the choice of his or her religion, education;
sole versus joint custody - regardless of which of the parents will be a physical guardian, and who is a legal guardian, the type of this custody gives full rights to one of the parents with a limited set of rights for the second parent. Thus, when deciding on guardianship, the court analyzes the following circumstances:
1) the wishes of the child to stay with one or the other parent;
2) cases of domestic violence;
3) stress resistance of the child;
4) wishes of the parents;
5) mental and physical health of the child and parents;
Sometimes when deciding on joint custody, courts oblige each spouse to provide a parenting plan that will include the visions of each parent regarding the child's upbringing. So if you and your spouse have already made a decision about custody, do not forget to mention this in your divorce form documents.
Rules for child support
After the divorce in Massachusetts, state law obliges spouses to provide financial support to their underage children. When calculating the child's financial support, the court will consider the needs of the children, incomes and expenses of each parent. Courts are guided by the Massachusetts child support guidelines, which are based on three components: the combined income of the parents, the number of children in the family, the time each of the parents spends with the child. Principles for supporting children also include the costs of child health insurance and his or her education
Rules for Spousal support
Alimony is money one spouse is ordered to pay to the other following a divorce in Massachusetts. Usually a positive decision on the award of alimony is made after a thorough analysis of the financial condition of the spouse who asks for financial support.
The judge is obliged to study the following factors when deciding on alimony:
1) duration of marriage,
2) the level of emotional, physical and psychological health of each of the spouses,
3) the age of each spouse,
4) the sources and the amount of income of each is elastic,
5) the employment of each spouse and the potential to find work,
6) the emotional and physical contribution of each is elastic in marriage,
7) living standards of spouses during marriage,
8) any economic benefits of spouses that were lost as a result of a divorce in Massachusetts.
Please note that there is no fixed formula for calculating financial support, but this amount should not exceed the needs of a spouse who needs maintenance. Or be no more than 30-35% of the income difference between the spouses. Sometimes alimony can be paid in larger amounts, for example, if it is compensation for joint property, which was awarded by the court to the second spouse.
According to state regulations, during a divorce in Massachusetts, the spouses must share among themselves all the property that was acquired by them during the marriage. The law states that the division of property must be fair, but this does not mean that it should be equal. If couples can not come to a decision about how property should be divided, then the court will make this decision independently after analyzing a number of factors. In any case, the court decision will be fair. All property that was acquired in marriage is marital property, nevertheless state law allows courts to divide absolutely all property, no matter how it was acquired or who owns it. In other words, during the divorce in Massachusetts, the law allows judges to divide the separate property in the same way as martial. Although often the court awards individual property to the original owner. There are cases when it is difficult to determine which property is marital and which is separate. For example, a spouse had a bank account prior to marriage, but after registering the marriage, the second spouse invested in the deposit account, in other words, both spouses are related to this property. This kind of property is called commingling property. If the spouses can not pinpoint exactly who should own the property, then the court will make its decision regarding the separation.
Divorce without a lawyer
If you apply for a divorce in Massachusetts, then there is no need to use the services of a lawyer. Cases when a divorce is made without the participation of a lawyer are called Pro Se Divorce, it is a Latin expression that translates as "on her or his own". Depending on which county you live, the process of divorce in the state of Massachusetts can vary. Nevertheless, a divorce without the participation of a lawyer is completely legal and is subject to execution in any state. If the spouses have come to the agreement of a division of property and custody of children, then it is very convenient to initiate the Pro Se Divorce.
During the divorce in the state of Massachusetts, the courts strongly recommend that couples use the services of mediators, this will help them resolve all the controversial issues regarding custody of the child and sign constructive decisions.
Divorce Forms in Massachusetts
If you are applying for divorce on the basis of a no-fault grounds, then it can be a divorce type A1 or B1, but if you are applying on the fault grounds, then this is the third type of divorce. Keep in mind that for each of the above types have their own divorce form documents. It means that you need to fill in for divorce in Massachusetts.
Only those papers that are related to the circumstances of your divorce case.
Filling out Massachusetts divorce forms is quite a complicated question, which hides a lot of nuances and pitfalls. You will face many difficulties and misunderstandings, especially if you do not have a legal education. If you make at least one mistake in the process of filling out the divorce form documents, the court will reject them, which will lead to the fact that you will need to prepare the papers once again.
Many couples prefer to have their filled Massachusetts divorce papers online. Using the service of Online Divorce in Massachusetts you can be sure of the correctness of filling out your forms. You can be sure that we will prepare in the shortest time all the necessary papers that correspond to your case of divorce.
Uncontested Divorce in Massachusetts
If during a divorce you have a disagreement with your spouse regarding such questions as division of property, custody of children or the award of spousal and child support, then your process of divorce in Massachusetts becomes too complicated and prolonged. However, if you and your spouse have settled all kinds of disputes and come to a common solution, then your divorce can be called uncontested. This kind of divorce in Massachusetts is much easier, since you will not need to go through lengthy legal proceedings regarding your disputed issues. In order to initiate a uncontested divorce in Massachusetts, you need to fill out special divorce form documents, which may coincide with the documents for Marriage Dissolution (see above). Remember that you can fill out online Massachusetts divorce papers to speed up the process of your divorce.
How to Serve Divorce Papers in Massachusetts
After you have filed your Massachusetts divorce papers with the court, you must notify your spouse about this by providing him or her with copies of your documents. It has a legal term and called as serve a spouse.
If you are applying for a divorce type A1, then there is no need to notify your spouse, as both of the spouses are signing a petition for divorce.
In case of divorce B1, you can serve your spouse in many ways. For example, using the help of the sheriff from the district in which your spouse resides, the sheriff will deliver the documents to him or her personally. Also, you can use a professional alert service, the payment for using which will be higher than the fee for the services of the sheriff or another way is to contact your spouse's lawyer to transfer all necessary copies of divorce form documents.
Total fees will contain sum of Massachusetts court filing fees and cost of using the service of online divorce in Massachusetts. This cost may vary by county. Please check with your local court officer to determine the exact amount.