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Establishing fault in a Massachusetts divorce

Many states do not provide the possibility for an “at-fault” divorce. However, Massachusetts is not one. Massachusetts is one of the few states that has both fault and no-fault divorce options. So, why would one want to place blame?

An at-fault divorce can have certain legal advantages. If one spouse can establish in court that the other spouse has caused the divorce through their actions, then things like child custody, property division and alimony may be impacted.

7 possible grounds for an at-fault divorce in Massachusetts

If a spouse decides that they would like to proceed with an at-fault divorce, one or more of the following legal grounds, or reasons, must be established:

  • Abandonment: If one spouse has deserted their spouse
  • Adultery: When one spouse has been unfaithful by being involved with another person
  • Addiction: If one spouse has a history of repeated substance abuse
  • Abuse: When one spouse is cruel or abusive toward their spouse or children
  • Lack of support: When a spouse does not provide basic needs
  • Incarceration: When one spouse is in prison for five or more years
  • Impotency: If one spouse is unable or unwilling to successfully have sexual relations

The above may be a challenge to prove in court, but these are the seven legal ways to successfully obtain an at-fault divorce in Massachusetts.

Choosing to go down the path of obtaining an at-fault divorce can be more complicated, more costly and more time-consuming. However, the benefits of establishing fault can outweigh the investment in certain cases.

To make sure that rights are protected when seeking an at-fault divorce, it can be beneficial to have professional guidance that is experienced in at-fault divorces in Massachusetts.