While a divorce can be daunting, I am available to help you through the process with as much ease as possible. My focus is on seeking to achieve your objectives in the most expeditious and cost-effective manner possible, while you focus on moving forward with your life.
When considering divorce, it is important to understand the legal options available in order to choose the best course of action. The first step is understanding the grounds upon which a divorce must be made in Massachusetts; the second step is understanding the procedures available to resolve the various matters that must be addresses (such as property division, child custody, and alimony).
The grounds for divorce in Massachusetts in “fault” divorces consist of abuse, adultery, desertion for more than one year, excessive drug or alcohol abuse, imprisonment for more than 5 years, impotency (in certain cases), and non-support.
Regardless of the grounds, both parties seeking a divorce must be able to show cause for the divorce.
If the parties are willing to agree that there has been a permanent break-down of the marriage and that they have reached a written agreement on matters such as alimony, child custody, distribution of marital assets, etc. the court can grant a No-Fault Divorce. Using this process, the court will not consider any evidence that may presume fault and will only approve or deny the agreement the parties reach.
If only one party can agree that there has been a permanent break-down of the marriage, or if they cannot agree to terms, the parties must wait 6 months after their paperwork is filed before a no-fault divorce will be granted (G.L. c. 208, § 1A). Parties must still be able to show cause for the action. The court has the ability to demand the parties seek marriage counseling prior to approval of the action.
After grounds have been established, the spouses should understand that litigation is not their only option. While a divorce can be stressful, there are many procedures that can minimize the overall stress. Parties can choose to take advantage of alternative dispute resolutions such as mediation, negotiations, and arbitration. Once a process has been selected, the parties can move forward with dividing up marital assets and discussing alimony, child support, and child custody issues.
In most cases, the parties will resolve matters outside of court. Resolving such matters is not always easy; many times it can prove to be contentious. I endeavor to take advantage of negotiation and such other measures, as well as creative problem-solving, in seeking an agreeable result for our clients without trial whenever possible. If trial is inevitable, I will go all out to win for clients.
If you are seeking a divorce, contact me at (978) 851-5145 to learn how I and my firm can help.
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