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How to File for Divorce in MA

On Behalf of | Nov 18, 2021 | Divorce |

Divorce is a complicated and often emotional process. Many spouses do not know the steps to file for a divorce in Massachusetts, making the process overwhelming. At Koiles Pratt Family Law Group, our team of experienced attorneys, paralegals, and support staff will advocate for your interests and streamline the Massachusetts divorce process so that you can regain stability and begin your new life.

Filing Procedures

Many of our clients come to us after attempting to file a divorce petition without representation. What initially seems like a straightforward process quickly becomes a maze once you have the paperwork in front of you. Massachusetts allows spouses to file three unique types of divorce petitions.

Uncontested No-fault Joint Petition (1A)

The cleanest type of divorce case involves an uncontested no-fault joint petition. During a 1A divorce, both parties wish to dissolve the marriage without blaming each other in court.

Contested No-fault Individual Petition (1B)

A 1B divorce filing allows you to seek divorce individually without working with your spouse. This divorce type often includes less cooperation between spouses, but you still avoid the contentious finger-pointing of an at-fault divorce proceeding.

You might consider filing a contested no-fault petition if both spouses believe the marriage is over but disagree on:

  •   Division of property
  •   Child custody
  •   Spousal support
  •   Child support

At-fault Individual Petition

As the most complicated and contentious type of Massachusetts divorce, at-fault cases require considerable time and effort from a family law attorney. You need to establish specific grounds to dissolve the marriage, requiring substantial evidence and developing a winning legal strategy.

Establishing Grounds for Divorce

In all divorce cases, you must establish sufficient reasons for ending the marriage. You can meet this requirement in no-fault 1A and 1B divorce proceedings by claiming an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.” However, for at-fault divorces, establishing proper grounds involves the submission of evidence, witness testimony, and a determination made by the court.

 Some of the most common grounds for divorce include:

  •   Adultery
  •   Abusive behavior
  •   Alcoholism or drug use
  •   Lack of support
  •   Desertion
  •   Impotence
  •   Prison sentences of five years or more

Submission of Evidence

Depending on the nature of your divorce case, you may need to gather and submit a significant amount of evidence. At Koiles Pratt Family Law Group, our Massachusetts divorce attorneys help you identify, locate, collect, and file evidence to strengthen your case. Some of the evidence you may need includes:

  •   Certified copy of your marriage certificate
  •   Certification of vital statistics
  •   Parent education program certificate
  •   Affidavit of care and custody
  •   Child support worksheet

How to get started

If you remain unsure about how to file for divorce in MA, you can rely on our seasoned family law attorneys to guide you through the process, advocate for you, and provide the support you need during this difficult time. Put your future in the capable hands of veteran divorce attorneys by contacting Koiles Pratt Family Law Group to schedule your initial consultation.