297 E. Main Street (Rt. 20), Marlborough, MA 01752297 E. Main Street (Rt. 20)
Marlborough, MA 01752
Call Us:508-460-1237Office: (508) 460-1237
Fax: (508) 460-0433

divorce statutes

Statutes  |  Grounds vs. No-Fault

Divorces are granted in Massachusetts by the Probate and Family Court by authorization of Chapter 208 of the Massachusetts General Laws (MGL). These laws govern the commencement of the divorce action, the divorce proceedings, and grant a specific authority to the court regarding custody of minor children, alimony, assignment of real estate, restraining orders, and other divorce related issues.

The Massachusetts Rules of Domestic Relations govern the court procedures, including how and when the complaint is filed and served, what and how discovery of information is obtained, and other divorce related procedures.

Grounds vs. No-Fault
In Massachusetts, divorces are granted on the basis of fault or no-fault.

Massachusetts General Law C.208 Section 1A and 1B govern no-fault for "irretrievable breakdown of the marriage".

Section 1A allows for divorces where both parties petition the court stating that an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage has taken place, and include a signed agreement by both outlining the terms of their divorce.

Section 1B allows for divorces where only one party petitions the court stating that an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage has taken place. A party who files a Complaint under this section may proceed while the other party contests the suit, or may later amend his/her Complaint to a Section 1A when/if the other party agrees that there is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and enters into an agreement that provides for the resolution of the divorce issues.

A divorce may be filed on the basis of fault as provided by Massachusetts General Law Chapter 208 Section 1. Those grounds are:
  • adultery,
  • impotency,
  • utter desertion,
  • gross and confirmed habits of intoxication - caused by excessive use of intoxicating liquor, opium or other drugs,
  • cruel and abusive behavior.
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.
Any unauthorized use of material herein is at the user’s own risk. Transmission of the information and material herein is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an agreement to create an attorney-client relationship with the Law Office of Richard J. Butts or any member thereof. Contacting the Law Office of Richard J. Butts does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.
go to top