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A Massachusetts divorce based on irretrievable breakdown

After a couple makes the decision to end their marriage, the next step is to find out how they are to proceed.  Most people file for divorce based on the fact that their relationship is irretrievably broken.  It may be beneficial to understand the basics of a Massachusetts divorce in order to alleviate at least some of the trepidation that seems to naturally accompany the process. 

In order to file for divorce based on an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage must include the following three documents:

  • a petition executed by an attorney or both parties
  • an affidavit sworn to by both parties that the marriage is irretrievably broken and
  • a separation agreement executed by the parties, which must be filed within 90 days of the filing of the other two documents.

A hearing will then be scheduled whereby the separation agreement is presented to the court.  Within 30 days thereof, the judge will make a determination as to whether the marriage is broken and the separation agreement deals with all of the applicable issues between the parties.  Once a separation agreement is approved by the court, it can be left either to stand on its own or be incorporated into the divorce judgment.

This may seem like a fairly straightforward process, but the details contained in each document could take time for the parties to work out.  Therefore, a Massachusetts couple wanting to file for divorce under the grounds of an irretrievably broken marriage may benefit from obtaining advice and assistance. This could ensure that once the process is complete, neither party will need to return to court in order to address an issue that was not dealt with at the time.


Source:, "General Laws: CHAPTER 208, Section 1A", , Sept. 18, 2014

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