|Uncontested Divorce - Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions about Uncontested Divorce in Massachusetts
What is uncontested divorce?
Uncontested divorce is the process in which both parties agree to dissolve their marriage together. The key to an uncontested divorce is that you are filing with your spouse.
How do I file an uncontested divorce?
You must file an uncontested divorce in Massachusetts with your spouse. The question is really how do "WE" file together an uncontested divorce.
What are the grounds for an uncontested divorce?
The only ground for an uncontested divorce in Massachusetts is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. This is the Massachusetts "no fault divorce."
What forms do we need to file an uncontested divorce?
You and your spouse will need to file the following probate court forms to file and uncontested divorce?
- Joint Petition for Divorce Pursuant to G.L. c.208, Section 1A (a "1A" divorce) signed by both parties. (click form)
- An R-408 Form (click form)
- An Affidavit of Irretrievable Breakdown Pursuant to Mass. General Laws C.208 Section 1A signed by both parties. (click form)
- A Notarized Separation Agreement. (click Middlesex County Example)
- Affidavit Disclosing Care or Custody of a child Trial Court of Massachusetts only if you have minor children. (click form)
- Each party must submit a Financial Statement. (click form if income is less than 75K) (click form is income is more than 75K)
- A Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, if you have minor children. (click form)
- A Certified Copy of Your Marriage Certificate.
- A Filing Fee of $215.00
Where do I file File?
You must file in the Massachusetts County where one party is a resident. You should also check with the probate court in your county to see if they allow "walk in" so you can select a day with your spouse and "walk in" the papers rather than mail the paperwork with a request for a court date to the probate court. Most counties allow you to "walk-in" the paperwork so long as you are at the court before 8:30am in the morning with your spouse.
What is a separation agreement?
This is the agreement between the parties outlining the dissolution of the marriage. Key areas are: division of real and personal property, debt, retirement accounts, taxes, child custody, child support, a parenting plan. This is the document where you may need assistance from a lawyer.
Do we have to see the Judge?
Yes, the judge will have to find that your agreement is fair and reasonable. You should plan on spending the morning but your time in front of the Judge will be relatively quick.
How long until our divorce is finalized?
Thirty days from the day that you appear in court, the judgment of divorce enters. 90 days from that date the divorce becomes final as a matter of law. So, in total, it takes 120 days from the day that you are in court. You are free to re-marry on the 121 st day!!