Can you get a no-fault divorce in Massachusetts?

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2023 | Divorce

When going through a divorce, you need to make several crucial decisions, including the most suitable divorce option for your case. A divorce can be filed as fault or no-fault. With the first option, you should have grounds for filing, but with the second, all you need to state is the marriage is irretrievably broken.

So, which option can you choose in the state? Here is what you should know:

You can choose any of the following options

In Massachusetts, you can file a fault or no-fault divorce. The grounds for a fault divorce include adultery, impotency, desertion, gross and confirmed habits of intoxication, cruel or abusive treatment, non-support and a prison sentence of five or more years. To achieve a fault-based divorce, you have to be able to prove your allegations.

On the other hand, you can dissolve a marriage in the state based on being irretrievably broken. The state offers two options for a no-fault divorce. The first one is a 1A divorce, an uncontested no-fault divorce. This is for spouses who agree the marriage is irretrievably broken and have reached a written agreement about crucial matters, such as property division, child custody, parenting time and alimony. 

The second option is a 1B divorce, which is a “contested” no-fault divorce. This means the spouses who wish to go through no-fault divorce disagree on child support, alimony, parenting time or alimony. The spouses may even disagree on whether the marriage is irretrievably broken – only one party may believe so.

Spouses can request to change their divorce complaint from 1B to 1A should they find common ground after the initial filing.

Which option is more expensive?

A fault divorce is undeniably more expensive, as one will incur legal fees and court costs. Besides, it can be time-consuming, which can translate to more expenses.

If you are going through a divorce, consider getting legal help to make informed decisions about your choices.