How to File for Divorce in MA
Legal Counsel for Divorce Issues in Worcester
When parties are facing a divorce, no matter which spouse may have initiated
the process, emotions are especially high. The necessity of dividing property
and debt and determining
child support, and
spousal support issues all may evoke a considerable reaction that cannot be ignored. Choosing
the right divorce attorney is imperative during this stressful period.
Law Office of Robert W. Kovacs, Jr., an experienced lawyer who has assisted hundreds of families with their
divorces is waiting to also help you. We understand how delicate the negotiations
can be in a divorce situation and approach each encounter with professionalism
and an appreciation for the emotional toll that the process is likely
taking on all partied involved. We are a boutique law firm, which serves
us well by allowing us to give our clients the personal attention that
is needed during such a distressing time.
Through the wide assortment of our legal services available to families
in divorce situations, we pledge to work tirelessly to help our clients
attain the best possible outcomes available. Our range of services includes:
The Divorce Process
The divorce process for each county in our state follows a similar sequence
starting with the divorce filing. Next the temporary orders on matters
relating to the spouses and to the children (if any) are issued, followed
by the submission of various financial statements and the divorce discovery.
Whether the divorce is reached amicably or a trial is held, each divorce
ends with the court making its final divorce decree.
Grounds for Divorce Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, you can file for either a fault, no-fault, contested,
or uncontested divorce. It’s important that you choose which type
of divorce best suits your situation before you begin the divorce process.
A fault divorce means that you are blaming the end of your marriage on
your spouse and you must provide grounds for the divorce. In Massachusetts,
there are seven grounds for a fault divorce:
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Prison sentences of 5+ years
- Refusal to provide support
An experienced attorney can help you determine which type of divorce filing
is for you.
How Long Do You Have to be Separated Before Divorce in Massachusetts?
In MA, finalizing a divorce requires a "nisi period". The nisi
period is the time between when the court grants your divorce and when
the divorce becomes final. The purpose of this waiting period is to allow
couples to think things over and ensure that any property in the divorce
wasn't fabricated. Neither couple must do anything specific, as the
divorce will become final automatically. The waiting time solely depends
on if the divorce is "1A" or "1B". A 1A divorce will
take 120 days while the latter will take 90.
How are Assets Divided in a Divorce in Massachusetts?
If you and your spouse can come to an agreement about asset and property
division then you will have the right to. However, if there are disagreements,
then a judge will split them based on equitable distribution. This doesn't
necessarily mean it will be divided equally down the middle, there are
many factors that will be evaluated first. These include the length of
the marriage, the age/health of each spouse, and the income of each spouse.
Can You Get Divorced Without Your Spouse's Consent?
Every state allows you to file for divorce, even without spouse consent.
If you file for divorce and your spouse doesn't respond, then they
will have 30 days to reply or you may be granted default from the court.
To find an experienced and knowledgeable legal team with the ability to
assist you with any
family law matter; you need look no further than our firm. Whether you require us
to set up a prenuptial agreement, help with a joyous event such as a family
adoption or any other divorce or family law matter, we have the expertise
and the proven success to satisfy your needs.
High Net Worth Divorce
While no divorce is simple, some cases are extremely complex. This would
be the case when a divorcing couple owns a business together, or even
if a spouse is trying to hide assets. A high net worth divorce can even
complicate matters such as child support.
Based on the General Laws of Massachusetts, Chapter 209-32, in our state,
legal separations are recognized. In such a situation, a court may make
orders pertaining to the support, care and custody of minor children and
to the support of the married person(s). As circumstances change, existing
court orders may be modified or new orders may be entered into.
Same Sex Marriage
In our state, same sex marriages have been legally performed since May
of 2004. Unfortunately, as in marriages between heterosexual couples,
same sex couples have divorced since that time. Although the rules governing
child support and custody, spousal support and the
division of property are officially identical in same sex and opposite sex divorces, the reality
is much different and many questions are evident in same sex divorces.
When spouses divorce, the effect on the family, parents and children alike,
is often the most upsetting part of the marriage dissolution. Decisions
regarding child custody are among the most difficult for parents to agree
upon and often require the assistance of a skilled attorney with experience
in this area. If you are divorcing and have child custody or
father's rights questions, an experienced and compassionate attorney at our firm is available
to discuss your situation.
As a law firm experienced in divorce issues, we are intimately familiar
with our state's child support laws. We understand that this issue
is difficult for many families, whether one is a parent who must pay child
support or is the parent who receives the support. We have earned a reputation
for our successful representation of our clients' interests in child
support matters and welcome your contact to schedule a consultation with us.
Court Order Enforcement
Divorce decrees that are properly written are compulsory, including child
custody and visitation orders, and orders of child or spousal support.
Violations of such orders by one or both parties may result in contempt
or other court enforcement, such as incarceration. At our firm, we have
represented hundreds of clients in divorce matters and are fully aware
of how to see that court orders are enforced.
Modifications to Court Orders
Life is not immobile but is always changing and evolving. So it is with
families of divorce who are trying to work with court orders. In situations
where divorced parties have changed their work schedule, job or financial
circumstances, modifications to the existing court orders may be necessary.
In these cases, we can petition the court for a modification to the order(s)
Agreeing on visitation arrangements of children in divorce situations can
be amongst the most difficult issues that divorcing spouses will address.
Such decisions can be especially contentious if the divorcing spouses
cannot put aside their personal feelings towards each other for the sake
of their children. If you are concerned about your failure to attain agreement
regarding your children's visitation, contact our firm today for assistance.
It is not unusual in our mobile society for you as a parent to want to
move to another state with your children. When they are under the jurisdiction
of a court due to divorce, paternity or child support, however, you must
get the other parent's permission to remove the children from the
state. Failing that, you need the court's permission, citing why such
a move is in the child's best interests.
To help a spouse maintain a certain level of financial existence or standard
of living, or to assist eligible spouses to change over from married to
single life after a divorce, our state awards spousal support . Although
some people believe that spousal support can only be issued to a female
in a traditional marriage, spousal support can be requested by either party.
A guardian petition in divorce cases is typically brought by someone seeking
custody of a minor child who is not the parent of that child. Such petitions
are governed by Chapter 201 of the Massachusetts General Laws, under "Guardians
and Conservators." Family members, other than the mother or father
of a child, are often appointed as guardians to protect the interests
of a child.
A protective order is a type of restraining order by the court to make
it illegal for the defendant in some cases of domestic violence, such
as situations of spousal abuse or child abuse, from affecting another
person's safety or security. Protective orders can be issued with
or without a divorce action. If you have been the victim of abusive or
threatening behavior or conversely have been falsely accused of such acts,
call for help today.
Domestic violence situations are extremely dangerous and can occur as patterns
of behavior or a onetime occurrence. Domestic violence can take many forms,
ranging from threats and verbal abuse to full-fledged physical aggression
towards adults and children. If you or your children have been threatened
or are the victims of domestic violence, we are ready to put all of our
experience and skills into action to keep you safe.
Are you aware that even though a father's name may appear on a birth
certificate, he is not the legal parent of the child if the parents are
not married and paternity has not been established? If you have questions
about the paternity process, whether you are the mother of the child or
an interested male party, we welcome your contact at our law firm.
Contact a Worcester divorce attorney at our firm today for the legal representation you can rely on to protect