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Uncontested Divorce in Massachusetts

A comprehensive overview on filing for uncontested divorce in Massachusetts

uncontested divorce massachusettsToday, the majority of divorces filed in the state of Massachusetts are uncontested divorces. This means that the spouses settle the terms of their divorce outside the court and submit the divorce papers for approval.

Filing for uncontested divorce allows couples to gain control of the outcome of the divorce process and to shape it according to their needs and wants.

Below, we will go over what an uncontested divorce is and what your options are if you choose to file for uncontested divorce in Massachusetts.

While you can handle things on your own, divorce mediation provides a civilized, respectful, and economical way for you and your spouse to file for uncontested divorce. 

For a free, no-obligation consultation call 800.343.2147 or

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What is Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which both spouses do not wish to go before a court and have a judge make decisions for them. Instead, they choose to negotiate a settlement themselves and present the signed documents to the court, for approval by a judge.  There is no trial with this option, and the judge's role is to review the agreement to ensure that the divorce settlement is fair and reasonable.    

 

There are several ways in which people can file for uncontested divorce in Boston and MA:

DIY Divorce Agreement: The do-it-yourself method may work for couples whose legal situations are simple, who are still able to talk and listen to one another, and who do not have children or co-owned properties. These couples may be able to sit down together and work through the details of their divorce agreements.

If you and your spouse fit into this category, you can file for divorce by downloading the MA divorce forms and submitting them to the court on your own.
If you require assistance, we can prepare and file your uncontested divorce papers for an affordable fee.

For more information call 800.343.2147 or

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Using Divorce Mediation: Mediation is a good choice for couples that wish to have an amiable divorce settlement, but require the help of a professional, neutral third person to facilitate open, productive communication regarding the different issues and aspects of the divorce settlement.

Mediators help couples to reach mutually acceptable agreements through an economical and civilized process. 

Mediation requires that you and your spouse:

  • Remain willing to bring forth all necessary information including finances;
  • Be capable of sitting down face to face with each other and talking honestly;
  • Wish to come up with a settlement that both of you are comfortable with.

 

For more details on divorce mediation call - 800.343.2147 or

schedule a consultation session

 

Using Collaborative Law Attorneys:  Some divorcing couples hire collaborative law attorneys to help them negotiate the terms of their divorce.  Each spouse has his or her own collaborative attorney.  Although the negotiation is done directly by the spouses, their attorneys are usually in the room with them to help ensure that their legal rights and interests are kept. The problem with this approach is that in many cases the process becomes long and costly.

If the process breaks down and a couple can not reach a settlement and must go to court, the collaborative attorneys by agreement are prohibited from representing the parties and so new attorneys must be hired by both sides.  This creates an incentive for the parties and collaborative attorneys to work together towards agreement, but can add significantly to expenses if the process breaks down.

A great alternative is to use a divorce mediator to assist you in drafting your divorce agreement together, and then have an attorney go over it before you sign it.


Adversarial Divorce: In an adversarial divorce, you and your spouse each hire an adversarial, traditional attorney to fight for you. Couples may hope to come up with a settlement outside of court, but the goal of each spouse is often to get the best settlement no matter the cost. Some of the common characteristics of an adversarial divorce are.

- Using Orders of Protection to get your spouse out of your home;

- Having your spouse formally served with divorce papers;

- Only speaking to your spouse through your lawyers or in court;

- Fighting about custody of your children;

- Fighting to pay as little child support as possible.

- Trying to pay as little money as possible or asking for as much as possible.

- Cases are often settled by attorneys with or without the judge.

- 2% of these cases go to trial, costing around $200,000 on average

Uncontested Divorce – Should You Do It Yourself or Through Divorce Mediation?

Even if you and your spouse are separating on good terms and agree on the majority of issues, you may still wish to consider working with a qualified, neutral mediator. A good mediator will help you keep your negotiations productive and avoid having the process break down into an ugly divorce battle. Using a professional mediator will also ensure that every aspect of your divorce agreement is addressed and considered prior to filing the divorce papers.

Couples, who wish to file for divorce on their own, may find the divorce forms to be a bit complicated and the filing process to be tedious. If you need help filing for uncontested divorce, we can prepare and file your divorce forms for an affordable fee. 

If you are unsure of which method is best for you and your spouse, we invite you to meet with one of our professional MA mediators for a free, no-obligation consultation.

For a free consultation call 800.343.2147 or

schedule a free consultation

 

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