Moving Forward During An Uncontested Divorce
In Massachusetts, there are contested divorces and uncontested divorces. The distinction between the two types of divorces centers on whether the parties agree as to the material terms of the divorce, e.g., child support, custody, alimony, etc. If the parties agree on every aspect of the divorce, then the case should be filed as an uncontested divorce.
If you and your spouse can agree to all the terms of the divorce, an uncontested divorce can be commenced by filing a petition signed by both parties. Next, an affidavit signed jointly or separately saying that an irretrievable breakdown exists must be filed. Finally, a notarized separation agreement must be filed with the court, along with the previously mentioned documents. The agreement may contain terms involving alimony, support, and the disposition of marital property, etc.
If the agreement is executed outside of Massachusetts, its validity is determined by that jurisdiction’s rules on separation agreements. If valid elsewhere, it will be valid in Massachusetts.
The Benefits Of An Uncontested Divorce
Divorces are never easy affairs but filing for an uncontested divorce has some benefits that a contested divorce does not. A benefit of an uncontested divorce, aside from the fact that you likely will not be spending tons of money to litigate issues, is that an uncontested divorce places you and your spouse on a different tract than if you were to file for a contested divorce. This is because the relevant statute says that uncontested divorces are to receive a speedy hearing. On the other hand, contested divorces can in some cases take over a year and can be costly to litigate.
When considering whether to file a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce, consider what issues may be problematic between you and your spouse. Any disagreement as to material terms and issues will preclude you from filing for an uncontested divorce.
We Are Your Legal Guides
Just because a divorce is uncontested, doesn’t mean it’s uncomplicated. Our family law attorneys can help you move forward and advocate for yourself today. Send us an email or call our firm at 508-271-7963 to speak with an attorney.