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What requirements does Massachusetts have for getting a divorce?

Every state has certain rules and regulations regarding who is able to file divorce petitions. Massachusetts is no different. This week, this column will address the divorce requirements specific to residents of this state.

Residency restrictions are a limiting when it comes to deciding where to file for divorce. One cannot just file in any state of his or her choosing. One or both spouses must have lived in that state for a certain time period before he or she can file. In Massachusetts, both spouses must have lived together in the state as a married couple, or one of the spouses must have lived in the state for at least one year, before a divorce petition can be filed. After a petition is filed, there is typically a 90-day waiting period that must occur before any further action can be taken.

Like many other states, Massachusetts does not necessarily require specific grounds for divorce. This is called a no-fault divorce, which simply means that there are issues in the marriage that are irreparable. However, it is possible to list specific grounds -- such as adultery, abuse, desertion or others -- if desired.

Those who would like to file for divorce in Massachusetts may benefit from seeking legal counsel from experienced family law attorneys. With help, one can ensure that he or she has met all the necessary state requirements for submitting a divorce petition. One can also be sure that the final settlement meets state standards and is fair and balanced.

Source: FindLaw, "Massachusetts Legal Requirements for Divorce", Accessed on Aug. 10, 2016

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