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Is it possible to expedite a divorce in Massachusetts?

Once individuals have decided that they're ready to end their marriage, they're usually eager to get the process over and done with as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, some divorcing couples find themselves embroiled in a complicated and lengthy divorce process that they weren't anticipating. Many people want to know if there are ways to help speed the process along.

Massachusetts does have a mandatory waiting period that must be completed before a divorce is finalized, and it is not possible to get this waived. The 120-day waiting period is known as the "Nisi period" and it begins after the divorce is approved by a judge. So, this means that even after the divorce has been "granted," the parties will have to wait 120 days until it is official.

While there is no way around the waiting period before a divorce is official, there are ways to speed up the divorce earlier on in the process.

If both individuals are eager to move the divorce process along, cooperation with the divorcing partner may be the key. If one partner procrastinates on paperwork, for example, the divorce will take longer, so committing to deadlines and being willing to respond to requests for information can help speed up the process drastically.

When divorces go to trial, they not only take longer but cost more. This is another example of when trying to work with an ex-spouse can come in handy. An uncontested divorce -- in which both parties agree on key elements -- saves both time and money. If necessary, there are professional mediators who specialize in helping couples work through their issues to reach a solution efficiently.

As marriages are often about compromise, so are many divorces. There may be issues an individual initially wants to fight over that, after consideration, are not worth the battle and the inevitable cost in time and finances.

A Massachusetts divorce attorney will have the experience and insight to offer suggestions and advice regarding issues that might be worth compromising on in the interest of expediting divorce proceedings. For those who are prepared and willing to cooperate, a divorce doesn't have to be messy and lengthy.

Ultimately, while there is no way around the state's mandatory waiting period, there are definitely things parties can do to speed up the process, saving both time and money.

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