Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


Massachusetts Divorce Rights


Massachusetts is one of the fifty states in the United States of America. Just like any other state in the USA, Massachusetts also requires the person filing the case for divorce to be a resident of the state. In order to make use of the divorce rights in Massachusetts, the couple must have been living in the state together. When the cause for divorce was occurred, any one of the spouses must have been a resident of the state. However, if the cause of the divorce has occurred outside the state, as per the divorce rights, the plaintiff must have lived in the state for at least 1 year.

As per the General Laws of Massachusetts, a case of divorce is filed in the court of the county where the plaintiff or the defendant lives. Again, as per the divorce laws of Massachusetts, spouse can file a case for the dissolution of the marriage on the grounds of adultery, drug addiction, impotency, abusive and cruel behavior, neglect of the spouse, prison for a period of five years or more. A case could also be filed when it is considered that the marriage has been broken down irretrievably.

The general law of Massachusetts in its chapter 209 also provides for a legal separation of the couple. In the case of legal separation, the court can pass orders in regard to child custody, child care and the spousal support. Also while deciding on the divorce case, the court declares its judgment in regard to the distribution of the property. Massachusetts being a state which follows the principle of equitable distribution, determines the amount to be divided between the spouses. The division of property is determined based on a number of factors.

The most important factor while determining the property is the length of the marriage and the contribution made by each party in the acquisition of the property. Age, health, conduct of the parties, various sources of income, employment opportunities and vocational skills of both the parties are some of the other factors considered.

After the conclusion of the divorce the court can ask any of the parties to pay alimony. Alimony would be awarded to a party after an intensive discussion. Since the court considers all the factors while dividing the property between both the parties, the court takes into consideration all these factors in order to arrive at a suitable alimony amount which is agreed to by both the parties.

In a divorce where a minor child would be affected, the court makes all possible efforts so as to protect the child from any emotional or physical trauma. The custody of the child would be awarded to the parent who would be considered most suitable for providing the child a favorable living condition. Welfare and happiness of the child is given the supreme priority here. The couple also has a right to reach an agreement in regard to the custody of the child, the court in this case enters an order which is in line with the agreement. After the conclusion of the divorce, the woman has the right to use her maiden name.


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