When seeking a divorce in Massachusetts, one of the most common questions is about the legal grounds for divorce. Whether you are considering a no-fault or fault-based divorce, understanding the grounds for divorce is essential to making informed decisions about your future.
In Massachusetts, the most common grounds for divorce are based on no-fault. This means that neither party is at fault for the divorce. The grounds for no-fault divorce are that the marriage has experienced an irretrievable breakdown, meaning that the marriage is beyond repair and cannot be fixed.
In Massachusetts, fault-based divorce is also available. These grounds for divorce require that one spouse be at fault for the divorce. The grounds for fault-based divorce include:
- Adultery: If one spouse has had sexual intercourse with someone other than their spouse, it can be grounds for divorce.
- Cruel and abusive treatment: If one spouse has been physically or emotionally abusive to the other, it can be grounds for divorce.
- Desertion: If one spouse has left the other without cause and with the intention of abandoning the marriage, it can be grounds for divorce.
- Impotence: If one spouse is unable to have sexual intercourse, it can be grounds for divorce.
- Substance abuse: If one spouse has a drug or alcohol addiction that has caused a breakdown in the marriage, it can be grounds for divorce.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
Regardless of the grounds for divorce, a divorce can either be contested or uncontested. In an uncontested divorce, both parties agree to the terms of the divorce, including division of assets, child custody, and support. In a contested divorce, the parties cannot agree on the terms of the divorce, and the court must intervene to make a final decision.
If you are considering divorce in Massachusetts, it is essential to have legal representation. A family law attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process and ensure that your rights are protected. Your attorney can also help you determine the grounds for divorce that are best for your situation and help you make informed decisions about your future. If you are considering divorce in Massachusetts, contact our office and speak with an experienced family law attorney to learn more about your options and how to proceed.