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.
Often when a Massachusetts marriage reaches its end it is because one of the partners passes away or the partners choose to end their marriage through divorce. Many bases on which divorces are grounded involve disagreements that cannot be resolved, fundamental differences regarding how the partners approach life, and difficulties that have no other options for resolution. Divorce is hard on individuals who agree that it is necessary, and individuals who choose to divorce can do so through litigation or some form of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation.
Alimony is a form of support that a person pays to their former spouse. Massachusetts residents can request alimony when they end their marriages, and that support can take on different forms depending upon their circumstances. However, it is important that individuals remember that not every divorce will involve alimony. For some, self-sufficiency is possible and alimony may not be needed.
In Massachusetts, a person can pursue divorce based on fault grounds or on the no-fault basis of an irretrievably broken marriage. If they choose to use the no-fault basis for ending their marriage, their divorce may be uncontested or contested. A person whose spouse agrees that their marriage is broken and who also wishes to file for divorce may be able to use the uncontested no-fault path to divorce, but if their spouse disagrees with the divorce or the terms of the divorce, the divorce may need to be filed as a contested no-fault process.
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.
Spousal support is sometimes called alimony and it involves the payment of money from an individual to their former spouse. It can take on several different forms in Massachusetts and its duration can vary greatly from divorce to divorce. When spousal support is ordered during a divorce the paying spouse often wonders how long they will be bound to their ex through spousal support, and outside of individual support agreements and orders there are events that result in the termination of support requirements.
A premarital agreement, sometimes called a prenuptial agreement, is a contract that two people enter into before they get married and use to settle some of the financial matters they may confront during their lives together. Premarital agreements cannot address issues related to the parties' children, nor may they include actions or activities that are illegal. Massachusetts residents should be aware that premarital agreements, whether deemed valid or invalid, can affect the outcomes of divorce proceedings.
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.
Unlike other states, our state does not recognize legal separation. In this state, if a married couple wishes to live apart and have the legal protection of an order dividing their property and providing for child custody and the like, then they will have to file for a divorce.
When splitting up the marital property during a divorce, the spouses must negotiate division of real estate, cars, retirement accounts and other valuable assets. But what about health insurance?