Divorce FAQ

Divorce in the state of Massachusetts, as in any state, can be a very stressful and confusing time in an adult’s life. Questions can arise in such circumstances that may seem impossible for one to find the answers to. Boston Divorce Attorney Doug Lovenberg can help you to answer those questions and take some of the confusion out of the issue of divorce. Here are some commonly asked questions about divorce in the state of Massachusetts.

If a Marriage was not Filed in Massachusetts, is it Legal?

Even if your marriage was not filed in the state of Massachusetts, it is most likely still considered to be legal. If you entered into the marriage believing that it was real, if the official who performed the marriage lead you to believe that it was real, then your marriage is legal, and a divorce is necessary to dissolve the marriage.

How Much Child Support Should I Get?

In the state of Massachusetts, child support guidelines have been set in place that will help ensure that the child support issued in a divorce will be adequate. These guidelines can be seen at the state’s website here , where a child support calculator can be found.

Can I Receive Alimony?

The factors for determining alimony in the state of Massachusetts are listed in G.L c. 208, §§ 34 and 48-55. In cases where a need can be proven and child support is not being awarded, general alimony will usually be awarded. The length of time which general alimony will be given will depend on how long the marriage lasted.  In the cases where child support is being paid, then the couple’s combined income must be over $250,000 before alimony will be considered. In some cases, the court may order that one spouse support the other while the divorce proceedings are being undertaken. Aside from general alimony, there is also rehabilitative alimony, transitional alimony, and reimbursement alimony.

How Can I Get Started With My Divorce?

In the case where neither party is contesting the divorce, both parties can file to get a divorce with a separation agreement and petition for divorce due to irreconcilable differences. All aspects of the divorce must be listed in the separation agreement. If one party is contesting the divorce, then the Plaintiff would file for divorce, and a summons will be issued to the Defendant.

How Long Must I Live in the State Before Filing

Unless one of the parties in the divorce are actually residents of the state of Massachusetts, then the plaintiff must live in the state for a full year before he or she can file for divorce. This rule applies only when the cause for the divorce occurred outside of the state. If the cause occurred inside the state, then one of the parties must live in the state.

Will I Receive Alimony?

There are many factors which a judge must consider before deciding whether or not to grant alimony in a divorce case. If a spouse is unable to support themselves because they are disabled, then alimony would likely be rewarded. If the spouses have a significant difference in income, and yet the marriage was a long one, then alimony may be awarded. There are other factors which can apply in the state of Massachusetts.

What is a No-Fault Divorce?

If the two parties in a marriage both concede that they are going their separate ways due to irreconcilable differences, or through the fault of neither party, then it is considered to be a no fault divorce. In cases where the Plaintiff sets out to show that the Defendant did something wrong o cause the divorce, then it is called a fault divorce.

What is Joint Custody?

When two parties in a divorce are both granted shared custody of the children from the marriage, then they are awarded joint custody. In legal custody, the parent is given the right to decide religious, educational, and other legal matters. In physical custody, the child lives with the parent who was awarded custody. If joint physical custody is awarded, the child’s time will be split between  both parents. If joint legal custody is awarded, then both parents will decide legal matters.

Anytime a couple faces  divorce, the stress and confusion can cause them to make mistakes that will effect the rest of their lives. This is especially true in cases where the couple shares children. In order to avoid such mistakes, adequate legal representation is required. If you are considering a divorce in the state of Massachusetts, give Divorce Lawyer Doug Lovenberg a call today.