Online Divorce in Massachusetts
For those seeking an inexpensive divorce in the state of Massachusetts, online divorce is an easy, affordable and fast solution. Online divorce may be appropriate for couples who have an uncontested case. The step-by-step process of preparing divorce documents at Onlinedivorce.com makes it easy on you. We help prepare all of the necessary divorce forms and provide detailed written instructions on how to file your divorce in Massachusetts.
Our divorce documents preparation service can be a perfect solution for those who want to have their divorce papers completed quickly and stress-free. Even though Massachusetts has unique divorce forms and filing requirements, our online system can provide you with exactly what you need and provide instructions on how to file. We have helped thousands of people prepare their divorce documents for filing.
If you and your spouse agree on the terms of the divorce and want an amicable dissolution to your marriage, why should the process get drawn out and why should you spend money on lawyers? Online divorce is often cheaper, quicker and easier.
Online divorce can be a perfect option if you want to save money or if you hope to have your divorce quickly finalized so you can get on with your life. Preparing documents for divorce online in Massachusetts is quickly becoming very popular because you can complete the documents in the comfort of your home. Even if you think your case is too complex because you have children, own your own home or have other assets, you may still be able to prepare your documents online. Just start with our simple questionnaire, and we’ll provide you instructions for each step of the way.
Finally, you don’t have to worry - our process is 100% secure. We protect your information and nothing is filed until you submit the divorce papers to the courthouse yourself. Filing for divorce in Massachusetts with the Onlinedivorce.com system can be a simple solution to a difficult situation.
When you use OnlineDivorce.com, we help you fill out your divorce paperwork using a simple online questionnaire. You can fill it out alone or with the assistance of your spouse. Then, you will need to get a signature from your spouse and you can file the divorce forms with your local court. In Massachusetts, you will typically file with the courthouse in the county in which you currently reside. If a petitioner is not currently a resident, but a defendant is, divorce is typically filed in the county where the defendant resides.
The actual filing process is explained in our detailed court-filing instructions that we provide along with your completed divorce forms. You can also obtain assistance from your local courthouse by calling or stopping by.
After the initial filing, you may need to follow up if there are any issues with your documents. When you use OnlineDivorce.com, we allow you to make small adjustments to your forms as requested by the court at no additional charge. Our goal is to help you obtain your divorce with as little hassle and stress as possible using our online divorce documents preparation service.
Every state has specific requirements where divorcing couples must establish residency within the state they are divorcing. Massachusetts is no exception.
If the grounds for divorce occurred in the state, there is no duration requirement. However, if the grounds occurred outside the state, there is a one-year residency requirement stating at least one of the divorcing parties must have lived in the state for this length of time.
There are many ways to prove that residency has been established. The easiest way is if one or both spouses have a valid and in-date Massachusetts driver’s license, ID card or voter’s registration card which was issued at least six months before filing for divorce. If this is not the case, it may be possible to establish residency, by having someone who knows you or your spouse testify that you have lived in the state for at least six months. Additionally, it may be possible to use an Affidavit of Corroborating Witness form, and it should serve as proof you’ve lived in the state a minimum of six months.
Valid grounds to get divorce in Massachusetts
Grounds for an online divorce using OnlineDivorce.com are the same as they would be for any divorce within the State of Massachusetts. Grounds are merely the reason for divorce, and the state must approve them.
No-fault divorce in Massachusetts can be filed based on what is called an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
Fault-based reasons for divorce include adultery, impotence, imprisonment for over five years, and willful desertion for one year. Filing under one of these fault-based grounds may become a more complicated and expensive process than filing without fault.
Custody of the child in Massachusetts
If there are children involved in a divorce, the couple will need to determine how custody should be handled. This isn’t something that a couple has to do all on their own. There are regulations in place that can help the court determine what would be the best possible custody situation for each case. If the parents already have a plan in mind, they can present this to the court, and it will be given due consideration before any other agreement is made.
The Massachusetts state court holds the parents rights equal to the child’s happiness. This means that when ordering child custody, the court will consider whether the child’s living conditions would negatively impact his or her health and well-being, and they will also look at what the parents desire.
Rules for child support in Massachusetts
Massachusetts has put into place state-mandated child support guidelines which will apply in almost every case, barring extraordinary circumstances. With this, both parties’ gross incomes and certain child related expenses are considered when calculating the child support obligation.
In most cases, child support payments continue until the child reaches eighteen years of age, and can extend until the completion of the child or children’s secondary education.
Either or both parents may be ordered to pay child support, based upon these factors:
- The financial resources of the child;
- The standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the marriage had not been dissolved;
- The physical and emotional conditions and educational and medical needs of the child;
- The financial resources, requirements, and obligations of both the noncustodial and the custodial parent;
- The age of the child;
- The cost of any daycare;
- The parenting plan for the child;
- The needs of any other person that a parent is obligated to support; and
- The provision of health and medical insurance for the child.
A portion of the parents’ property can at times be set aside in a trust fund for the support of the children.
A parent may be required to provide health insurance coverage for a child if it is available at a reasonable cost. There are child support guidelines adopted by the Department of Public Health and Human Services that are to be considered by the court. Child support payments may be required to be made through the Department of Health and Human Services. [Massachusetts General Laws Annotated; Chapter 208, Section 28 and Massachusetts Rules of Court; Appendix of Forms].
Property division in Massachusetts
When a couple chooses to divorce in Massachusetts, they must distribute property in a fair and agreeable manner. This can be one of the most challenging parts of going through the divorce process for many couples. It may be possible for a couple to come up with a property distribution plan on their own without involving the court. In doing so, it can make for a more relaxed and less-stressful uncontested divorce.
However, when there is some disagreement on how property is to be divided, the state has specific rules in place to make it easier.
Massachusetts is an “equitable distribution” state. All the spouse’s property, including any held before the marriage and any gifts and inheritances, is divided by the court, without any regard to marital misconduct, based on these factors:
- The contribution of each spouse toward acquiring marital property, including the contribution of each spouse as homemaker;
- The duration of the marriage;
- The current age and health of the spouses;
- The occupation of the spouses;
- The sources of income of the spouses;
- The skills of the spouses;
- The employability of the spouses;
- The liabilities and needs of each spouse and the opportunity of each for further acquisition of capital assets and income;
- The time necessary for a spouse to acquire sufficient education to enable the spouse to find appropriate employment;
- Any premarital agreement;
- If there is a prior marriage of each spouse;
- Whether the property award is instead of or in addition to maintenance; and
- Any health insurance coverage.
Fault is not a factor if the grounds for the divorce are irretrievable breakdown of the marriage filed in conjunction with a separation/settlement agreement. [Massachusetts General Laws Annotated; Chapter 208, Sections 1A and 34]
Mediation support in Massachusetts
If irreconcilable differences is cited as a reason for the divorce, mediation may be ordered to help the couple decide if divorce is truly the best option.
For those seeking to prepare their divorce papers using OnlineDivorce.com, utilizing divorce mediation can be a great tool to smooth out disagreements and prevent the case from going to court. This can be the simplest way to assure a fast, easy and affordable online divorce.
Filing fees for divorce in Massachusetts
When you file your divorce papers, the court will charge filing fees that may vary by county. These costs are in addition to the cost of using OnlineDivorce.com. Please check with your local courthouse to determine the exact amount.
How long will it take?
The use of the OnlineDivorce.com service usually takes between 30 minutes and two hours or more depending on the complexity of your case. You’ll start filling out the questionnaire immediately and can either complete it in one sitting, or you can save your progress and complete it at a later date if that is more convenient for you.
Once you’ve gotten the documents complete, you will need to file them and get your spouse’s signature. You’ll have more information regarding the finalization of your divorce case once you complete your paperwork and submit it with the clerk of courts.