Guiding You Through the Massachusetts Divorce Process
One person asked a Judge in our state if he could get a divorce if he did not want one. The Judge said, "Massachusetts is a no-fault state, sir. You can get divorced if your wife doesn't like the color of your shoes."
I am Eileen Agnes, a family law attorney in Framingham, Massachusetts. The advantage of our being a no-fault state is that you and your spouse do not have to prove fault before you can get divorced. This enables you and your spouse to focus on practical issues such as:
- Reaching an equitable division of marital property
- Determining whether one side will be required to pay alimony and for how long.
- If you have children, negotiating a child custody and support agreement
Of course sometimes fault is an issue in a divorce. For example, if one spouse is inappropriately spending assets the other spouse may receive some credit for this dissipation of assets.
Filing for Divorce
There are a number of ways to begin the divorce process in Massachusetts, from filing a divorce complaint and having a sheriff's deputy serve it on your spouse to arranging a four-way meeting with both parties and their respective attorneys to discuss if the parties can reach a settlement and proceed in an uncontested divorce.
The first approach, while it may be embarrassing for your spouse, would be appropriate if you are concerned about your spouse hiding or dissipating assets. The Massachusetts divorce complaint includes a standard restraining order on assets that will protect your financial interests.
If you and your spouse have already discussed your divorce and wish to reach an amicable settlement, arranging a meeting in an attorney's office can help by not putting either side on the defensive.
In Massachusetts, the divorce process can be completed in as little as eight months, but could take much longer if issues such as child support and marital property division are litigated or there are issues which require further discovery.
Free Lawyer Consultation
If you are facing divorce, I offer a free initial consultation at my law office in Framingham. To schedule an appointment with me, attorney Eileen Agnes, call 508.879.9876 or fill out the contact form on this Web site.