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Family Law Attorney

I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

What does the Massachusetts divorce process look like?

If you are thinking about pursuing a divorce, or are in the middle of one, it is normal not to know what to expect. Navigating the emotional turmoil of divorce can often take up the majority of the time. If the process can be at all simplified, that would be ideal.

There is a general timeline of divorce that can help divorcing spouses understand what to expect. Obviously, each divorce will have unique characteristics that will no doubt affect the timeline. However, this can help give a guideline for what may be coming next.

The process begins with sending a petition to the court, which can be filed by a lawyer. This describes why and how a spouse wishes to begin a divorce. Often, it is the job of the lawyer to ensure the petition is served on the receiving spouse and then summon the spouse.

The divorcing couple then exchange documents and information on topics, such as property and income. By examining this information, the couple and the court can decide how to divide up marital property and how to best deal with child support and alimony, if the two topics apply to their divorce.

The last steps listed generally concern most of the disputes or questions about the dissolution of marriage process. Since everyone's financial and emotional situation will vary, it is difficult to discern all possible questions or concerns. Rest assured though, a careful examination of finances and keep the lines of communication open will encourage a positive result. As such, it can help to discuss certain questions or concerns with a professional.

There are steps after the process of dividing marital property and determining alimony or child support. But, this is where the bulk of the decisions of divorce rest. The process is not meant to be overly complicated. It is understandable how those that are new to divorce may feel overwhelmed. Keeping focused on the end goal can help ease any temporary discomfort that related to the process of a divorce.

Source: Family.Findlaw.com, "A Divorce Timeline," accessed on June 13, 2016

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