Should I Cite Fault Grounds in Massachusetts? | What to Know

When getting divorced, one of the first decisions you will have to make is whether to file on fault grounds. Grounds refer to the legal reason your divorce is occurring. How you decide to file will impact the way your divorce is resolved. Read on to learn more about citing fault grounds in Massachusetts.

Fault Grounds

Spouses who are choosing to divorce can cite fault grounds in order to begin the proceedings. When a spouse cites fault grounds in a divorce case, it means that one party involved is the reason for the end of the marriage. In the state of Massachusetts, you can file on the following fault grounds:Β 

  • Adultery
  • Desertion
  • Non-support
  • Impotence
  • Imprisonment of 5 or more years
  • Gross habits of intoxication
  • Cruel and abusive treatment

However, many couples choose to file for a no-fault divorce. This is because it can often make the process faster and easier. For example, if you cite fault grounds, you give your spouse the opportunity to contest these grounds. Additionally, you may have to provide evidence of the grounds. For example, if you are filing on grounds of adultery, you may have to provide proof of your spouse’s adultery. Not only can this be difficult to prove, it can also be emotionally taxing.

No-fault grounds

As previously stated, many couples choose to cite no-fault grounds. There are two options in Massachusetts:

  • 1A Divorce: This is an uncontested divorce, meaning both parties agree that the marriage has broken down. Through a written agreement, the couple has resolved marital issues such as child support, parenting time, alimony, child custody, and the division of marital assets.
  • 1B Divorce: This is a contested divorce, meaning one spouse cites that the marriage is irretrievably broken down and the other spouse does not agree. If they cannot reach an agreement, they may have to enter the litigation process. However, if a couple can reach an agreement before the litigation process begins, they may change their divorce complaint from a β€œ1B” to a β€œ1A.”

If you are getting divorced in Massachusetts, you will need an experienced lawyer to help you through the process. Our firm is here to walk you through the process every step of the way. Reach out today to speak with a skilled and dedicated divorce attorney.

Contact our experienced Bristol County firm

If you need help through a contested divorce or with any other family law matter,Β contact The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C.Β for a consultation today.