Three Things You Might Not Know About Divorce In Massachusetts
June 3, 2020
No one expects to need a divorce, so understandably many people are unfamiliar with the aspects of Massachusetts family law they will have to navigate once divorce proceedings begin. Here are three things you should know about divorce law in MA.
Where to file for divorce: If either party lives in the county where they both lived together as a couple, file at that county’s Probate and Family Court. If not, file in the county where you or your spouse currently live. If both parties agree you can file for an uncontested divorce, which requires the court to review a separation agreement.
How much it costs: The total fee is $220.00, which is comprised of a $200.00 filing fee, a $15.00 surcharge and a $5.00 summons fee. If you cannot afford these fees, in MA you can fill out an Affidavit of Indigency form.
How money and property gets divided: For an uncontested divorce, both parties will draft a separation agreement together. Legal counsel is helpful for this stage, to avoid any potential issues that could arise in the future. If dividing property is left up to the court, they will apply a standard called “equitable division,” which is an attempt at a fair result for both parties.
While it is possible to have an amicable divorce, legal counsel is an invaluable tool even in that case. For such an emotional topic, it is always a good approach to stay calm, inform yourself, and use tips like the above to get through to the other side.