The divorce process can be a long one when individuals choose to use the courts to end their marriages. In Massachusetts, individuals can also elect to divorce through mediation, but doing so is a choice that may not serve the needs of everyone involved. Careful consideration should thus be given to the type of divorce that a person wishes to complete before they begin their journey.

Once the terms of a divorce have been negotiated and individuals have fulfilled the legal requirements of ending their marriages, they will receive a judgement from the court stating that their divorce has been finalized. However, that judgment may be a judgment of divorce nisi. A judgment of divorce nisi recognizes the end of a marriage but does not, in its moment of promulgation, end a marriage.

That is because in Massachusetts and other jurisdictions individuals have to wait a period of time after finishing their divorce proceedings before their divorces are final. In Massachusetts, that divorce waiting period is 90 days, and during that time the parties to the divorce are still legally married. Only when the waiting period ends are they actually legally separated from each other.

The waiting period recognized in a judgement of divorce nisi is intended to allow the parties to reconsider their actions. Ending a divorce is a serious legal decision, and in some cases the parties may choose to stay married rather than legally sever their ties from each other. This post addresses one small aspect of getting divorced in Massachusetts. Readers can benefit from discussing the process further with their trusted family law attorneys.