Susan Rossi Cook, Attorney and Mediator

How long does it take to complete a Massachusetts divorce?

The decision to divorce is a difficult one, and once a Massachusetts resident decides that they want to end their marriage they may want to bring about that result as quickly as possible. Though divorces can resolve quickly, readers should know that the unique factors that apply to their divorces, as well as the types of divorce that they wish to pursue, can greatly influence its duration. Different divorces will resolve under different time lines, and no reader should take the contents of this blog as advice on how their divorce may unfold.

In order to get a divorce in Massachusetts the party filing the action must satisfy certain residency requirements. Those requirements may oblige them to live in the state for at least one year before they can file, which may lengthen the amount of time that they have to wait to initiate the legal action. Readers should talk to their attorneys about whether they have satisfied the residency requirement for filing.

Additionally, individuals who divorce in Massachusetts may be subjected to a 90 day waiting period before their divorces are finalized. Judges may waive this waiting period in certain cases, but if it is not waived it may push back the conclusion of a divorce for at least an additional three months.

The negotiations that parties must engage in in order to finalize a divorce can take months depending on the individuals' needs and expectations. Property division, child custody, child support, and spousal support issues must all be resolved, which can take some time. Mediation may or may not help move a divorce along, and as with all legal matters the resolution of a divorce will depend on factors relevant to the parties' individual cases. Legal support can help readers better understand the divorce process and what they can do to facilitate its completion.

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Susan Rossi Cook, Attorney and Mediator

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