How to File for Divorce in MA? Explanation of the Massachusetts Divorce Forms and Process
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires a number of documents, including a full disclosure of your financials and a separation agreement. I have provided lots of useful information for you.
How to File for Divorce in MA
If you are considering mediating your divorce you are likely to file for a 1A no-fault divorce. A 1A no-fault divorce is when both spouses agree, that for a number of reasons, the marriage is over. They are in agreement that they are both better off divorcing and moving their separate ways.
In order to file for divorce in MA, spouses need to complete and submit to the proper court the following Probate court forms:
- Listing of what must be filed for divorce
- Joint Petition for Divorce
- Certified copy of civil marriage certificate
- R-408-Certificate of Absolute Divorce
- Separation Agreement
- Affidavit of Irretrievable Breakdown
- Affidavit Disclosing of Care and Custody (parents only)
- Filing Fee of $215
- Financial Statements:
- Child Support Guidelines
- Child Support Guidelines Worksheet
- Child Support Worksheet Instructions
- Child Support Findings for Deviation Form
- Mandatory Parent Education Program
- Model Parenting Plans
- AFCC Guide for Parents Living Apart
- Mandatory Parent Education Program
- Parent Education Programs by County
- Motion to Waive Attendance at the Parent Education Program
- Things to Know Before Going to Court
- Before Asking the Court for Help
- Massachusetts Probate and Family Courts Listed by County
- Fee for Filing for Divorce
- Changing Your Name During Divorce
- How to Change Your Name During or After Divorce
For more information visit the Probate and Family Court website.
Explaining All the Forms Needed to Divorce in MA
Joint Petition for Divorce: This is a form requesting a 1A no-fault divorce that is signed by both spouses.
R-408 Certificate: This is a form that is used by the courts for statistical purposes only.
Separation Agreement: A document that outlines the terms and agreements of the divorce made between the couples. It is considered a legal document once it is signed and is used in 1A no-fault divorces. Separation agreements address issues related to property, assets, alimony, child support, custody, parenting agreements and other important details.
Affidavit of Irretrievable Breakdown: This is a document that identifies the date and reason the marriage broke down.
Financial Statements: Both spouses are required to complete financial statements and disclose them to one another. For individuals with incomes of less that $75,000 complete the short form and individuals with incomes greater than $75,000 complete the long form.
Child Support Guidelines Worksheet: The worksheet must be submitted to the court. However, if the couple believes that a different figure is fair and reasonable, and can explain it to the court, they are not bound to follow the figure calculated in the worksheet.
Affidavit Disclosing Care and Custody: A form required by the court detailing information about children from the marriage and their custody status.
Mandatory Parent Education Program: All parents seeking divorce must attend a five-hour parent education class that is delivered over the course of two 2 1/2 hour sessions. Certificate of attendance is required by the court to divorce. Parents may not attend the same sessions.
Finalizing the Divorce in Massachusetts
One spouse may bring all of the completed paperwork to the Probate and Family Court Department. The court will mail notification of the scheduled court date to both spouses. The couple then attends court on the assigned date for a brief hearing by a judge. If the judge approves everything, the divorce will be final 120 days after the judge approves it.
Free Consultation on How Mediation Can Help You Divorce in Massachusetts
Feel free to contact me for a free consultation to talk in person about how to get a divorce in Massachusetts.