Massachusetts Divorce Questions

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Those planning to file a divorce and legally end their marriage need to have information related to divorce. Even though you might appoint a divorce lawyer, yet you yourself should be aware about the different divorce procedures. You also need to know about child custody laws and visitation rules, if you have child or children from the marriage. There are several divorce related legal terms that one should know about before filing a divorce. A layman might not understand the term GAL, what it stands for and the duties of the person appointed as GAL during the divorce process. Here we have collated a list of important Massachusetts divorce questions that one should go through to get details about legal divorce process and legal terms used in Massachusetts.

Some examples of Massachusetts Divorce Questions:

Q. Explain the term GAL?

A. GAL means Guardian Ad Litem. The court appoints the GAL as a mental health lawyer. It is the duty of this person to talk with the divorcing partners and their child or children. After the discussion, the GAL offers some recommendations to the court. The divorcing partners are supposed to pay the fees of the GAL.

Q. Let us suppose that a particular divorcing partner is not satisfied with the services of the lawyer who has been hired. According to law, is it possible to change the divorce lawyer?

A. As per the rules in this state, a divorcing partner can avail the services of a new divorce lawyer midway through the divorce process. However, it is not advisable to so. First of all, the partner has to pay the fees of the new divorce lawyer and due to this the cost of the divorce is increased. Secondly, the new lawyer would have to study the case from the beginning and thus the case would require more time for completion.

Q. What is the duration of the divorce cases in this state?

A. After filing the divorce papers in the court, there is a waiting period of minimum 90 days. On completion of this period, the divorce might be granted. It has been observed that the average time duration for a divorce case is usually 12 months.

Q. In this state what are the basic residency requirements for filing divorce?

A. In case the reason of the divorce took place in this state, minimum one divorcing partner or both should be a resident of this state. In case the reason of the divorce took place outside this state, then the divorcing partner, who files the divorce action, must have lived in this state for minimum 1 year before the filing of the action.

Q. Explain certain terms related to Massachusetts divorce?

A. The person who files the divorce papers is named as the Petitioner or the Plaintiff. The person, who does not file the divorce papers but is served the divorce papers, is referred to as the Respondent or Defendant. In case, both the divorcing partners file a Joint Complaint, they are called as Co-Petitioners. The document that is used to commence the divorce procedure is labeled as the Complaint or Petition. The document used to grant a divorce is called as the Judgment of Divorce.

Q. In Massachusetts which grounds of divorce are acceptable?


  • Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage
  • Confinement in penal institution for a minimum period of 5 years
  • Refusal to support spouse when able
  • Cruel and abusive treatment
  • Addiction to alcohol or drugs
  • Desertion for minimum 1 year
  • Impotency
  • Adultery

Q. What factors does the court consider while distributing marital property?


  • The input of each partner as a homemaker
  • The input of each partner to the appreciation, preservation and acquisition of the respective estates
  • If there are any dependent children of the marriage, then, the present and future requirements of these
  • The needs, liabilities and estate of both the partners
  • The employability and vocational skills of the partners
  • The sources of income, amount, occupation, health and age of the partners
  • The behavior of the partners during marital life
  • The duration of marital life

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