Family Law Attorneys

Grounds for Divorce in Massachusetts

Grounds for Divorce in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is both a "fault" and "no fault" divorce state. This means that you can file for divorce because of an irretrievable break down of the marriage or for "cause."

Divorce for cause must be on one of the following grounds under MGL Chapter 208 §1:

  1. adultery,
  2. impotency,
  3. utter desertion continued for one year next prior to the filing of the complaint,
  4. gross and confirmed habits of intoxication caused by voluntary and excessive use of intoxicating liquor, opium, or other drugs, cruel and abusive treatment, or,
  5. if a spouse being of sufficient ability, grossly or wantonly and cruelly refuses or neglects to provide suitable support and maintenance for the other spouse, or
  6. for an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

It is uncommon or at least disfavored in most Courts today to have a divorce for "cause."