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Three types of divorce in Massachusetts

Divorce has become more common than ever. Statistically speaking, it’s just as likely that you will divorce as it is that you will remain married. If you’re considering a divorce, you may have questions on the process. Among those questions is what the differences are between the different types of divorce in Massachusetts.


Determining eligibility for divorce

 Before you can file for divorce, you must determine whether you’re eligible for divorce in the state of Massachusetts. You may file for divorce if you’ve lived in Massachusetts for one year or had the marriage-ending event occur in Massachusetts while living as a couple.

No-fault divorces

A no-fault divorce is when you nor your spouse blame each other for the breakdown of the marriage. However, there are two types of no-fault divorce offered in Massachusetts known as 1A and 1B.

A 1A no-fault divorce means that you and your spouse both agree that the marriage is beyond repair and have agreed on key issues such as the division of property, alimony and child support.

Conversely, a 1B no-fault divorce means that you and your spouse agree that the marriage is over but one or both of you disagree on those key issues. This is known as a contested divorce because someone disagrees on the terms of the divorce, while a 1A no-fault divorce is an uncontested divorce.

Fault divorce

The third type of divorce is a fault divorce. To obtain a fault divorce, you must prove at least one ground for divorce. Grounds for a fault divorce include adultery, cruel and abusive treatment, and a substance abuse problem. Other grounds include impotency, a prison sentence longer than five years, and a lack of support.

Fault divorces are typically more costly than no-fault divorces because they take longer to complete.

There are no right or wrong answers

There is no best kind of divorce because each divorce is unique. What works well for another couple may not work for you in your circumstances. Do you know which type of divorce is best for you?

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