Our 3StepDivorceTM Online Divorce for Massachusetts is offered with a peace-of-mind 100% guarantee.
We offer a 100% guarantee that the documents provided will be accepted by the Massachusetts courts to finalize your divorce.
In the event that the documents provided are not accepted by the Massachusetts court due to the fault of 3StepDivorceTM, you will be provided a 100% refund (with no handling fee).
Our support staff will always give each individual customer personal attention should they have difficulty. We have both e-mail and phone support. This being said, prior to issuing a refund, we reserve the right to meet any courts requests regarding changes to the documents.
Massachusetts Residency Requirements
One of the spouses must be a resident of the state of Massachusetts if the grounds for divorce occurred in Massachusetts. If the grounds for divorce occurred outside the state of Massachusetts then one spouse must be a resident of the state for at least 1 year. Actions for divorce shall be filed, heard and determined in the probate court, held for the county where one of the parties lives, except that if either party still resides in the county where the parties last lived together, the action shall be heard and determined in a court for that county. In the event of hardship or inconvenience to either party, the court having jurisdiction may transfer such action for hearing to a court in a county in which such party resides. The divorce is typically filed with in county in which the filing spouse lives. (Massachusetts General Laws - Chapter 208 - Sections: 4,5 & 6)
Massachusetts Divorce Grounds:
Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage as provided in sections one A and B; provided, however, that a divorce shall be adjudged although both parties have cause, and no defense upon recrimination shall be entertained by the court. (A) A. An action for divorce on the ground of an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage may be commenced with the filing of: (a) a petition signed by both joint petitioners or their attorneys; (b) a sworn affidavit that is either jointly or separately executed by the petitioners that an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage exists; and (c) a notarized separation agreement executed by the parties except as hereinafter set forth and no summons or answer shall be required. (B) B. An action for divorce on the ground of an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage may be commenced by the filing of the complaint unaccompanied by the signed statement and dissolution agreement of the parties required in section one A. (Massachusetts General Laws - Chapter 208 - Sections: 1, 1A, 1B and 2)
Massachusetts Property and Debt Division
In determining the appropriate property distribution award, the courts shall consider the following: a. length of the marriage; b. the conduct of the parties during the marriage; c. the age; d. health; e. station; f. occupation; g. amount and sources of income; h. vocational skills; i. employability; j. estate; k. liabilities and needs of each of the parties; l. the opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income. (Massachusetts General Laws - Chapter 208 - Sections: 1A and 34)
Massachusetts Spousal Support, Maintenance, or Alimony:
In determining the amount of alimony, the court shall consider the length of the marriage, the conduct of the parties during the marriage, the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties and the opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income. The court may also consider the contribution of each of the parties in the acquisition, preservation or appreciation in value of their respective estates and the contribution of each of the parties as a homemaker to the family unit. When the court makes an order for alimony on behalf of a spouse, said court shall determine whether the obligor under such order has health insurance or other health coverage available to him through an employer or organization or has health insurance or other health coverage available to him at reasonable cost that may be extended to cover the spouse for whom support is ordered. When said court has determined that the obligor has such insurance or coverage available to him, said court shall include in the support order a requirement that the obligor do one of the following: exercise the option of additional coverage in favor of the spouse, obtain coverage for the spouse, or reimburse the spouse for the cost of health insurance. In no event shall the order for alimony be reduced as a result of the obligor's cost for health insurance coverage for the spouse. (Massachusetts General Laws - Chapter 208 - Sections: 1A and 34)
Massachusetts Custody and Visitation:
In determining what custody arrangement would be in the best interest of the child, the court shall consider all relevant facts including, but not limited to, whether any member of the family abuses alcohol or other drugs or has deserted the child and whether the parties have a history of being able and willing to cooperate in matters concerning the child. If the issue of custody is contested and either party seeks shared legal or physical custody, the parties, jointly or individually, shall submit to the court at the trial a shared custody implementation plan setting forth the details of shared custody including, but not limited to, the child's education; the child's health care; procedures for resolving disputes between the parties with respect to child-raising decisions and duties; and the periods of time during which each party will have the child reside or visit with him, including holidays and vacations, or the procedure by which such periods of time shall be determined. The court shall consider the shared custody implementation plans submitted by the parties. The court may issue a shared legal and physical custody order and, in conjunction therewith, may accept the shared custody implementation plan submitted by either party or by the parties jointly or may issue a plan modifying the plan or plans submitted by the parties. (Massachusetts General Laws - Chapter 208 - Sections: 28 and 31)
Massachusetts Child Support:
In determining the amount of the child support obligation or in approving the agreement of the parties, the court shall apply the child support guidelines promulgated by the Chief Justice for Administration and Management, and there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the amount of the order which would result from the application of the guidelines is the appropriate amount of child support to be ordered. If, after taking into consideration the best interests of the child, the court determines that a party has overcome such presumption, the court shall make specific written findings indicating the amount of the order that would result from application of the guidelines; that the guidelines amount would be unjust or inappropriate under the circumstances; the specific facts of the case which justify departure from the guidelines; and that such departure is consistent with the best interests of the child. The court will may deviate from the support obligation based on the support worksheet by address the following issues: alimony payments, tax exemptions for the children, minimum and maximum levels of payment, custody and visitation order, child care, age of the children, health insurance obligations, attribution of income, prior orders of support, and expenses of subsequent families. (Massachusetts General Laws - Chapter 208 - Sections: 28)
How Do I Know if I Should File in Massachusetts?
One would typically file for divorce in the state in which he or she or his or her spouse resides. If you have recently moved to a new state and wish to file in that new state, you may have to establish residency prior to filing.
If you are in the military and are stationed on a base outside your residency state, you typically are able to file in that state or in your residency state.
If you are in the military and are stationed overseas, you would typically file in your home residency state.
Can I Use 3StepDivorceTM if I Have Children?
Yes. The system and your documents will address all the issues regarding your children such as, but not limited to; custody arrangements, visitation and time-sharing, child support, and medical coverage.
How Much Are the Massachusetts Filing and/or Court Fees?
The filing and/or court fees are not included in our fee and typically range from $50.00 to $350.00 in total depending on your location of filing and whether or not you have children. The 3StepDivorce service will typically help you yield the lowest filing fee for you because both you and your spouse are in agreement.
How Long Will the Process Take in Massachusetts?
The process takes an average of less than 1 hour to answer the required questions and generate the documents. Once you file your documents with the court according the filing procedures, the length of time will vary depending on the number of cases in front of yours. Each court has only one or just a few Judges, Masters, or Referees to review all the pending cases.
Should I File or Should My Spouse File?
As a rule of thumb, for uncontested divorces, the spouse who really wants the divorce to be finalized typically does the filing.
Where and How Do I File My Documents?
The documents are filed at your local county courthouse in the family law or domestic relations division or department. Inside your account you will receive step-by-step filing procedures.
Can I Mail or Fax My Documents to the Clerk?
Many courts do permit you to mail and/or fax the documents. This will vary from county to county and state to state, so it will be best to check with the clerk at the courthouse when you are ready to file.
Do I Have to Go to Court in Massachusetts?
Depending on your state and your situation, you may or may not have to attend a short hearing. Most of the time when a hearing is required, it only lasts 10-15 minutes and only the filing spouse must attend. The hearing is where you will be granted your divorce and the judge will sign the final judgment or decree.
Do I Have to Also Hire a Lawyer?
3StepDivorce is designed for you to do your own uncontested divorce without hiring a lawyer. You will be acting as your own lawyer and filing for your own divorce. Should you need or desire legal advice or should your divorce become contested, we do suggest you hire the services of a lawyer.
Will My Name Also Be Changed?
The wife has the option to change her name back to her former or maiden name through the 3StepDivorce solution.
When is the Divorce Actually Finalized in Massachusetts?
The divorce is typically finalized when the Judge signs the final judgment or decree. We give a window of 30-90 days from the filing date, but this will vary due to case load at the courthouse and any mandatory waiting periods.
Massachusetts Forms: Our question and answer technology will allow you to easily complete your Massachusetts divorce forms for an uncontested divorce. Our goal is to give you full control and make "doing your own divorce", fast, easy, and affordable.Massachusetts Divorce Forms List
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A total of 95 people have started their divorce through 3StepDivorceTM in the last 24 hours and 919 in the last 10 days. The streamlined and user-friendly process, instant document delivery, and unlimited free support makes us the go-to solution to do your own divorce. Our simple and inexpensive process provides you with all your completed divorce papers in as little as 20 minutes. Instantly access your completed divorce forms after a short online interview. It is that easy, no lengthy completion or delivery times.
This easy to use online divorce is a "do it yourself (without a lawyer)" solution for any uncontested divorce (with or without children) that will be filed in the state of Massachusetts. An uncontested MA divorce is one in which you and your spouse are in agreement and eliminates the stress and expense of settling your divorce in court.
With 3StepDivorceTM you can complete and print your Massachusetts divorce forms (including a marital settlement agreement) instantly. Then, follow our step-by-step filing procedures to file your Massachusetts divorce papers in a timely, professional, and hassle-free fashion. The online software is designed to give you full control of your divorce and also avoids the use of third party data entry, thus helping protect your personal information and privacy. If you're not ready to file for divorce in MA, learn more about getting your Separation Agreement or learn more about the basics of divorce in Massachusetts .
We provide unlimited support for all of our customers starting or completing their online divorce in MA. We take great pride in being able to respond to our customers in a "human" to "human" approach (as you can see, we do not hide our toll free number (888) 665-6782). We understand the need a customer may have to talk to a person rather than the typical automated voice or e-mail support system. Please keep in mind that we are not lawyers and we do not give out legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding your uncontested divorce in Massachusetts, we recommend that you contact a lawyer in your area.
In almost all cases, you file for a divorce in the state where you reside. This means that if you are a resident of Massachusetts, you file for divorce in Massachusetts and are governed by Massachusetts's divorce laws even if you were married, for example, in California.
You must meet Massachusetts's residency requirement for a court to have jurisdiction over your uncontested divorce in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts 3StepDivorce™ works as long as both you and your spouse agree about everything, and both of you are willing to sign the divorce paperwork.
You do not have to sign the papers together, at the same time and place, but the Massachusetts 3StepDivorce™ requires both spouses to sign.
It sure does. The Massachusetts 3StepDivorce™ allows you to address all issues regarding children, including but not limited to, physical and legal custody, visitation and support, care, health insurance and tax deductions.
Thousands of people divorce in Massachusetts every year without hiring a lawyer.
When spouses cannot agree about the terms and conditions of their divorce, they sometimes end up in court where a judge makes decisions for them. This is called a contested divorce, and hiring a lawyer is a good idea in this case.
When a case is uncontested and both parties are willing to sign, (when you and you spouse agree about everything) filing your own divorce in Massachusetts is a common choice in order to cut down legal expenses. Read about the advantages of filing your own uncontested divorce in Massachusetts.
The residency requirements for a divorce in Massachusetts are as follows:
One of the spouses must be a resident of Massachusetts if the grounds for the divorce happened in Massachusetts. If the grounds happened outside of Massachusetts, one of the parties must be a resident for at least one year.
Yes. The divorce paperwork requires a signed authentication that you have been a resident of Massachusetts for at least a year.
This is a state law.
Signing false statements is perjury.
If the court requires proof for some reason, typically a Massachusetts driver's license or state identification is sufficient. An affidavit of a corroborating witness testifying about your residency also works.
Your spouse does not need to live in Massachusetts to use 3StepDivorce™. After you have printed all the divorce paperwork, you simply mail the documents to your spouse and he or she signs them. After your spouse returns them, you file in your local county court.
Very often divorcing spouses live in different states.
The grounds for divorce in Massachusetts are as follows:
No-Fault: Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, filed in one of two ways: 1) in conjunction with the Massachusetts simplified divorce procedure which requires one of the following: a) petition signed by both spouses jointly or by their attorneys; b) a sworn affidavit that is executed jointly or separately by the petitioners that an irretrievable breakdown exists; c) a notarized separation agreement executed by the parties; or 2) with a signed statement and dissolution agreement.
Fault: 1) adultery, 2) impotence, 3) utter desertion for one year prior to filing the complaint, 4) gross and habitual habits of intoxication caused by alcohol or drug addiction, 5) cruel and inhuman treatment, or 6) nonsupport "whereby a spouse is able to provide support but grossly, wantonly and cruelly refuses or neglects to provide suitable maintenance for the complaining spouse."
Once the divorce paperwork has been filed in court, it usually takes 90 days for a divorce in MA to be final. The start to finish time of the divorce may vary depending on the caseload of the court and the availability of judges to sign the final Certificate of Absolute Divorce.
3StepDivorce™ saves time because all lengthy delivery times are eliminated when you print your documents from your computer. You control revisions and reprintings as necessary.
In Massachusetts, a divorce hearing is required. If there are children involved, a short hearing, generally about 15 minutes, gives the court an opportunity to make certain that you understand the parameters of custody, visitation and support that are ordered as part of your divorce.
If there are no children, the hearing process in very streamlined. Since you and your spouse are in agreement, there is nothing for the court to decide. Learn more about divorce hearings in Massachusetts
There is no mandatory waiting period in Massachusetts.
Yes. 3StepDivorce™ includes a protocol for the wife to take back her former or birth name as part of the filing. It is easier to effect a name change during the divorce rather than after the divorce is finalized. Read more about a name change during a divorce in Massachusetts.
Separate and marital property and debt is identified and addressed in your 3StepDivorce™ account. A series of questions itemizes property and debt, dividing and allocating both according to what you and your spouse have agreed to. The answers become part of the divorce documents, so it is clear to you, your spouse and the court how assets and liabilities have been divided.
Yes. You answer a few questions dealing with individual retirement accounts. You have the option of waiving rights to each other's account(s), or dividing any marital portion of an account by a specific percentage or a dollar amount.
Once again, a few questions inside your account deal with the disposition of the marital home. All possible scenarios are covered -- sale, planned sale, transfer from one spouse to the other, and co-ownership.
A few questions in your account deal with temporary or permanent spousal support. Rights to spousal support may be waived, or a couple can agree to a specific amount for a set period of time. These questions define and limit the parameters of the desired spousal support, which often terminates upon remarriage or cohabitation.
Massachusetts requires that a support order be put in place for all minor children.
3StepDivorce™ provides the Massachusetts Child Support Guideline Worksheet, so you can easily calculate the state's recommendation for monthly support, but you have the option of taking these recommendations under advisement. The courts realize that you and your spouse know your situation better than they do, so they may approve any reasonable support amount, even if it is different from the one on the state worksheet.
We provide Massachusetts Child Support Worksheets inside your account. These worksheets make it very easy to calculate a monthly support amount. The support calculation is based on a number of variables, but the primary one is income.
Once you have calculated the amount, you and your spouse decide if you want to deviate from it and the reasons for doing so.
Yes. Once you and your spouse agree to a monthly child support amount, a judge reviews your decision. He or she will accept it if it seems reasonable. However, if it seems too high or too low, the judge will want an explanation why the two of you came to amount so much at variance from the state guidelines. Your explanation and reasons for it determine whether or not the judge accepts your proposed child support amount.
Massachusetts permits deviation from its child support guidelines when the court deems it appropriate based on a consideration of a number of factors, including alimony, tax exemptions for the children, custody and visitation, child care, age of the children, health insurance obligations, attribution of income, prior orders of support and expenses for subsequent families.
Yes. Child support can be modified based on a change in circumstances. In Massachusetts, a change in circumstances means "a significant change in circumstances," generally, changes "not considered when the original judgment was entered" that are "permanent and substantial" and/or "affect one's current standard of living."
Yes. Child custody arrangements can be modified when, for example, they break down because of the conduct of one of the former spouses.
Yes. The terms and conditions of both sole and joint/shared custody are defined by you and your spouse.
Yes. You can either use a standard schedule that we provide in your account, or you can use our option to customize your own.
Yes. Some of the divorce papers need to be notarized. The step-by-step filing instructions explain who signs what and whether a particular document needs to be notarized. The documents requiring notarization contain notary clauses below individual signature lines.
No. If desired, each of you may sign and/or notarize a document at a different time and/or place.
As mentioned, very frequently spouses sign and notarize the documents at different times and places because they live apart in different states. This happens often, for example, when one of them has moved or is in the military.
In Massachusetts, the divorce papers are filed in the Trial Court, the Probate and Family Court Department ____________, Division, which is the local county courthouse, where the Domestic Relations or Family Law department accepts the divorce filing. The divorce documents are submitted to the Clerk of the Courts. You pay a filing fee, and the clerk assigns the case a case number.
In Massachusetts, the fees may vary by county, but roughly the fees are about $215. If you want to know the exact amount, you can call the courthouse and ask.
Filing fees underwrite the cost of the court system, but in the case of indigent petitioners these fees may be waived.
Normally, an indigent petitioner completes a very short form at the time of filing. This form asks the court to waive the fees because of financial hardship.
Yes. If you have signed up but not filed any divorce papers, then nothing must be done. If you have initiated the action by filing the Joint Petition, your case can be dismissed by petitioning the court to do so. Normally, this can only be done by the filing spouse and must be done in writing.
Often the clerk of the court can help a person remove a case from the court docket.
The Massachusetts 3StepDivorce™ includes the following documents:
- Massachusetts Filing Instructions
- Massachusetts Printing Instructions
- Joint Affidavit Under M.G.L., Ch. 208, Sec. 1A
- Joint Petition for Divorce Under M.G.L., Ch. 208, Sec. 1A
- Marital Settlement Agreement
- Schedule for Visitation/Parenting Time of Minor Children
- Child Support Guidelines and Worksheet
- Affidavit Disclosing Care or Custody Proceedings
- Motion for Ordering Requirement of Parenting Class
- Financial Statement (Short Form for Wife)
- Financial Statement (Short Form for Husband)
- Financial Statement (Long Form for Wife)
- Financial Statement (Long Form for Husband)
- Monthly Self-Employment or Business Income (Schedule A)
- Rent from Income Producing Property (Schedule B)
- Order for Support, Health Insurance, and Income Assignment
- Request for Trial-Pre-Trial Assignment
- Certificate of Absolute Divorce (Chap. 208, Sec. 46 G.L.)
3StepDivorce TM is a premium online divorce solution, a sister company of Divorce Source, the owner and operator of the Divorce Source Network, the web's largest and most visited online divorce resource since 1997.
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