Fall River Divorce Process
If you are considering filing for divorce in the state of Massachusetts, couples must live in a home together as husband and wife. If the cause for divorce has occurred within the state of Massachusetts, only one of the spouses must be a resident of the state. However, if the reason for the divorce occurred outside of the state, then the plaintiff needs to be sure they lived in the commonwealth at least a full year before filing for divorce. Many regulations like this can be a bit overwhelming for anyone considering a divorce, and a Fall River divorce attorney will have the expertise to explain each stipulation clearly to you so that you are well aware of any regulations that may impede the divorce proceedings from going forward.
To begin the divorce process, paperwork needs to be filed in the county where at least one of the parties involved lives. However, in the event of an inconvenience or hardship to either person involved, the court has the right to transfer jurisdiction to a court in which the party in question lives. Legal grounds for divorce in the state of Massachusetts can range from adultery, cruel or abusive treatment, alcohol, and drug addiction, irretrievable breakdown of marriage and confinement in a federal prison for five years or more. A divorce attorney can better explain in detail more specifics when it comes to the legal grounds for divorce because each of the reasons listed can have exceptions that apply.
In the state of Massachusetts, legal separation is recognized and the courts may make arrangements for one of the parties involved to support the other married person, including custody and care of children involved. The court has the right to alter and adjust any judgments made if they feel fit to do so as situations present themselves. Having a divorce attorney explain all this to you beforehand can make the process much clearer, especially when children are involved. The court system is constantly changing and altering laws set in place to protect minors, and working with a top-rated Fall River divorce attorney can ensure you are up to date on all the latest changes.
When it comes to the distribution of property in Massachusetts, the state is considered an equal distribution state. There are many factors that go into deciding how the property is to be distributed among parties involved. The courts take into account the following when making a determination. How long were the couple married, the sources of income for both parties, age, health, conduct of each spouse and the contributions each party made towards the family unit. A divorce attorney recognizes all these factors and can best help you to identify exactly what part of the belongings you will either be losing or gaining in the divorce. The matters become even more complicated when children are involved because the court system needs to make a determination on the future needs of the children. If you are not represented by a competent attorney who has experience with Massachusetts law, you could be overpaying or not giving the children their fair share.
In Massachusetts the court system can order either of the spouses to pay alimony. The court takes into account the length of the marriage, the age of both parties, the health of each person, the incomes and employability and many other factors when determining the amount of alimony to be paid. Here again, if the court has to make a determination when children are involved, the alimony is based on the future needs of the children. These matters are extremely complicated and without the proper representation you could be forfeiting more than the state requires.
Contacting an attorney in advance gives you the opportunity to fully understand all the laws which are set in place to protect both parties. In Massachusetts divorce laws are different than many other areas of the county and is represented by a Fall River attorney you will be made aware of all the fees the court system has in place for filings for divorce. Divorce is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your lifetime and being impulsive and reckless can really hurt you. You want to be as informed as possible when it comes to filing for divorce because despite the fact one in two marriages end in divorce, each case is completely different from another and the court will not be patient with you if you are simply wasting their time. You need to fully understand what you are getting involved in and have an attorney explain to you what the court system will require in order to grant a divorce.
Your situation may be one whereas you feel you want the divorce but that both parties do not want to blame each other and simply want to walk away amicably. This is called a no-fault divorce. In the state of Massachusetts, the court recognizes this as an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Often referred to as 1A and 1B, that is the section of the law under which they can be found. Your divorce attorney can inform you of the many grounds for filing a no-fault divorce such as cruel and abusive treatment, desertion and adultery or impotence. Each of these requires you to show the courts different requirements, and an attorney can better explain to you what is required to make each claim.
If you have decided to file for a divorce in the state of Massachusetts, you begin the process by filing the appropriate papers at the probate and family court. The clerk should approve the paperwork and give you a copy. Then you can make arrangements for the local sheriff to serve the papers to your spouse. This is called a service of process, and simply means that the spouse has been legally handed the documents. In Massachusetts it is legal for you to represent yourself in a divorce case, however, going “pro se” is not advisable for many of the reasons listed above. The process simply has too many complicated matters that you are not equipped to handle by yourself. When it comes to custody issues, alimony, child support and property distribution, you would be doing yourself a disservice by attempting to navigate these waters without the proper legal representation. Contact a Fall River divorce attorney and rest assured they will do everything possible to make sure you receive fair treatment in front of the courts.