Massachusetts family law covers the divorce process, which begins when one of the spouses actually files a legal petition, or “complaint,” which advises the court he, or she, wishes to end the marriage, and this petition is “served” on the other spouse.
Legal requirements for divorce in Massachusetts (MA) can be found in Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 208, sections 1-5 and 21, and include “residency requirements,” such as:
- “Spouses must have lived together in MA as husband and wife,”
- The plaintiff (the person petitioning) “must have lived in MA at least one year,
- The actions/inactions that have brought about this divorce action must have occurred in MA, and
- If the causal actions/inactions happened in another state, the spouses must have “lived together in MA,” and at least one spouse has to be an MA resident.
Because Massachusetts is a state which allows “no-fault” divorce, the petitioner (plaintiff) must merely attest that there has been “an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.” In other words, the plaintiff believes there is “no chance of reconciliation.” Other “grounds for divorce” are: 1) adultery, 2) the spouse has been away from the household for one year (desertion), 3) drug and alcohol problems, 4) inability to conceive, 5) nonsupport, 6) being sentenced to prison “for at least 5 years” after a criminal conviction, and 7) a long absence (leading to “presumption of death”). [Continue reading]