What is an Uncontested Divorce in Massachusetts?


Can I get an uncontested divorce in Massachusetts?
What do I need to do to get an uncontested divorce in Massachusetts?
How do I get an uncontested divorce i…


Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce, also called a no-fault divorce, or a 1A, is when both parties agree to all the issues in the divorce. Both parties must agree that there has been an irretreivable breakdown and the marriage cannot continue.
In order to file for divorce in Massachusetts, one of the parties must have lived in Massachusetts for one year preceding the filing or that the cause of the marriage ending happened in Massachusetts and the parties lived here as a couple.

A separation agreement is drawn up between the parties. Issues addressed include:

  • Child custody,
  • Child support,
  • Parenting time,
  • Division of property,
  • Division of debt, and
  • Alimony if any.

That agreement is submitted to the court with several other documents including:

  • Your marriage certificate,
  • A financial work sheet for both parties,
  • A joint petition for divorce, and the filing fee, among others.

If there are minor children involved, both parents must attend a parent education program and submit a certificate of completion.

Once the paperwork is received by the court, a hearing date will be set. Both parties must attend unless one person?s appearance is waived by the court. This usually happens if the person is out of state. That person must file a motion requesting a waiver. The judge will determine if there has been an irretreivable breakdown of the marriage and if the separation agreement is fair. If he or she is satisfied, an order will enter.

Thirty days from that order, a judgment nisi enters. A judgment nisi is the time between when a judge enters an order, and the divorce is final. It gives both parties the chance to change their minds and to dispute the other parties? claims made to the court. Ninety days after the judgment nisi enters, your divorce is final. You don?t need to do anything during this time. Your divorce will become final automatically.

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