Susan Rossi Cook, Attorney and Mediator

Grounds for divorce in Massachusetts

Not every relationship that is formalized in a marriage will stand the test of time. Though some Massachusetts couples will find lasting happiness with their spouses, others will decide that their lives will be better off if they end their legal relationships. In Massachusetts, there are many grounds on which individuals may base their divorce pleadings which include both fault and no-fault foundations.

A no-fault divorce is effectively one in which the parties to a marriage decide that they no longer want to be connected through their legal bond. They may disagree on important relationship matters, but at the heart of their divorce there is no culpability that rests solely on one of the parties. This type of divorce in Massachusetts is based on the grounds of an irretrievable breakdown.

Other grounds for divorce may carry more culpability, or at least more fault, on the part of specific parties. For example, adultery may be used as a reason to end a marriage, as can abuse, drug or alcohol abuse, absence, and criminal conviction. Before preparing a pleading for divorce based on these or any other grounds for divorce, individuals should talk to their family law attorneys for guidance and support.

A divorce starts when one or both of the parties to a marriage file a petition with the court to begin the relevant proceedings to dissolve the legal union that exists between them. There are many other considerations that individuals should make aside from the grounds on which their pleadings will proceed as divorces affect many of the legal, financial, and personal relationships that they have. Consultation with professionals can help those who have questions about divorce.

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Susan Rossi Cook, Attorney and Mediator


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Needham, MA 02494

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