The spouses in an uncontested, no-fault action may ask for a hearing at the time they file. Depending on the county, the hearing is set up in days or weeks, but from the hearing to the final divorce, five to six months elapse, about a month longer fault or contested action. Contested no-fault actions may take even longer — a six-month waiting period after filing the Complaint and four to nine months wait for a hearing, plus 90 days after a trial. Contested Fault divorces can take seven months or more from the filing to the final action. At Wright & Associates, we can help you fill out the proper forms, draft the separation agreement and assist with financial statements in order to make sure the package that is submitted to the Court is correct. If there are mistakes contained in the filing, the Court will not accept them. Call us today to schedule your appointment.
Massachusetts permits a simplified divorce (called a “1A,” so named for the section of the law). When both spouses can cooperate, a couple files a joint petition. This is an uncontested, no-fault divorce. In this routine, the spouses submit the following documents:
• A certified copy of the marriage certificate.
• A Joint Petition, which identifies the parties, their children (if any), requests restoration of wife’s former name (if desired) and asks the court to incorporate a separation agreement.
• A Joint Affidavit, which states that the couple “…no longer [derive] satisfaction from … married life and now believe there is no chance of reconciliation.
• A Financial Statement for each spouse, which is on pink paper if the spouse makes less than $75,000 per year and on purple paper if he or she makes more than $75,000 per year.
• An Affidavit Disclosing Care or Custody Proceedings, if there are children under 18, which describes the terms and conditions of custody and visitation.
• Attendance Certificate, which certifies that the parents attended parenting classes, if there are minor children.
• Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, which is used when there are un-emancipated children under 23.
• A Settlement Agreement, which is signed by both spouses and details the terms and conditions of the property settlement.
• An Income Assignment Worksheet, which is used to assign incomes, if required.
• Request for Trial–Pre-Trial Assignment, which is used to schedule a divorce hearing.
• Certificate of Absolute Divorce or Annulment, which records the action for the commonwealth