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Do I have to allege fault for a Massachusetts divorce?

Marriages end for many reasons. While some couples naturally drift apart, others make unexpected and shocking discoveries about each other that bring their relationships to quick ends. In Massachusetts, individuals have a variety of grounds on which to base their divorce fillings, which can include, but do not have to utilize, claims of fault.

There are seven fault grounds that Springfield residents can use for the purposes of pursuing divorce. These include claims such as adultery, impotency, and desertion, as well as claims of abuse, habitual intoxication, non-support and incarceration. Individuals who plan to use these fault grounds as the bases for their divorces should consider discussing their plans with their family law attorneys to ensure that they understand how their choices may play out during their court proceedings.

However, fault does not have to be alleged to bring a Massachusetts marriage to its end. If the members of a couple both acknowledge that their marriage should end, and can agree to the terms of their divorce, then they may pursue an uncontested, no fault, divorce. If only one partner to a marriage believes that the marriage must end, or if the partners agree divorce is the right path but cannot agree to terms on custody, support or other matters then they may pursue a contested, no fault, divorce.

The manner in which a person chooses to seek divorce can have an impact on what information is shared during the legal proceedings and the length of time it may take to ultimately reach the end of the legal struggle. While this post is offered as an informational introduction to a complex legal topic, readers are asked to consider speaking with family law attorneys about their own legal questions and concerns.