What is a “no fault” divorce in Massachusetts?

A “no fault” divorce in Massachusetts is a divorce in which the marriage is broken beyond repair but where neither spouse blames the other. In Massachusetts, the no fault divorce grounds is called “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage.” There are two kinds of “irretrievable breakdown” divorces. They are often referred to as “1A’ and “1B”, referring to the section of the law under which they are found, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 208, sections 1A and1B.

1A–Irretrievable Breakdown, both parties participate:

By Agreement each party swears in an affidavit (a written statement made under oath that the marriage has irretrievably broken down), and files that affidavit with a Joint Petition for Divorce, and a notarized Separation Agreement.

For more information about the process see these articles in our Self-Help Guide for victims of domestic violence.

1B–Irretrievable Breakdown, only one party files:

One spouse files a Complaint for Divorce claiming “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage.” Whether or not the other party agrees, the plaintiff (the person filing for divorce) can have a hearing no sooner than six months after filing the Complaint. No affidavit or Separation Agreement is required.

The Framingham divorce attorneys at our law firm serve clients come from all over Massachusetts and the Greater Boston Metrowest region including Ashland, Boston, Berlin, Bolton, Boylston, Clinton, Concord, Dover, Framingham, Grafton, Hopkinton, Holliston, Hudson, Marlborough, Maynard, Millbury, Natick, Needham, Newton,  Northborough, Sherborn, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sudbury, Upton, Watertown, Waltham, Wayland, Wellesley, Weston, Westborough, West Boylston, and Worcester. Our attorneys have provided superior legal services to all of these individuals and families, and are prepared to do the same for you.

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