Attorneys
Worcester
Worcester
The Guaranty Building
370 Main Street, 12th Floor
Worcester, MA 01608
Framingham
Framingham
The Meadows
161 Worcester Road, Suite 501
Framingham, MA 01701
Cape Cod
Cape Cod
1597 Falmouth Road
Centerville, MA 02632
Medfield
Medfield
Olde Medfield Square
266 Main Street, Bldg. 2, Suite 15A
Medfield, MA 02052
New Bedford
New Bedford
651 Orchard Street, Suite 107
New Bedford, MA 02744
Providence
Providence
1 Richmond Square, Suite 303N
Providence, RI 02906
Boston
Boston
12 Post Office Square, 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02109
Hudson
Hudson
69 Main Street
Hudson, MA 01749
Practice Areas
Niche industries
Open detail
Cannabis & Breweries
Cannabis & Breweries
Open detail
Closely Held and Family-Owned Businesses
Closely Held and Family-Owned Businesses
Open detail
Condominiums
Condominiums
Open detail
Medical & Dental Practices
Medical & Dental Practices
Open detail
Private Foundations
Private Foundations
Open detail
Real Estate Developers
Real Estate Developers
Open detail
Restaurants
Restaurants
Open detail
All Industries
  • Multiple Dates

Estate Planning Webinar

Please join Fletcher Tilton Tax Attorney and Certified Elder Law Attorney Michael T. Lahti for an informative webinar. In the comfort of your own home or office, you will learn why some wills do not work, even when drafted correctly.  Details for the next upcoming date.

SHOW ALL UPCOMING DATES

Learn More
Learn More
  • Multiple Dates

How to Administer a Special Needs Trust

This annual training and update for Parents, Trustees and Successor Trustees of Special Needs Trusts and OBRA ‘93 Trusts has been reconfigured into a three-part series of evening webinars to accommodate these unusual times.  Details for the next upcoming date.

SHOW ALL UPCOMING DATES

Learn More
Learn More
Learn More
  • Tue. Nov. 17, 2020
  • 6:00-7:00 PM
 

Thrive Support & Advocacy Virtual Workshop

Fletcher Tilton attorney Theresa Varnet, M.S.W., J.D. will speak about ABLE Accounts with 1st and 3rd Party Special Needs Trusts.

Learn More

Learn More

View Past Seminars

Articles

FAQs About Divorce

By Marisa W. Higgins on July 29, 2019

Q: Can I get divorced in Massachusetts?

A: If you and your spouse reside in Massachusetts, you may get divorced in Massachusetts. Even if you and your spouse have not resided in Massachusetts as a married couple, you may still obtain a divorce in Massachusetts if you have resided here for at least one year.

Q: What is a no-fault divorce?

A: In Massachusetts, a no-fault divorce is one in which it is alleged that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. An irretrievable breakdown is predicated on the incompatibility of the spouses and their inability to work together to develop a mutually satisfactory marital relationship.

Q: What is a fault divorce?

A: Massachusetts recognizes fault divorces, although few complaints for divorce allege fault grounds as a basis for divorce. The most common fault grounds include adultery, cruel and abusive treatment, gross and confirmed habits of intoxication caused by drugs or alcohol, and utter desertion for at least one year.

Q: I have been served with a complaint for divorce. What do I do?

A: You have within twenty days of being served with a complaint to (1) file with the Court and serve a copy on your spouse or his or her attorney an answer in which you respond to each allegation made in the complaint. In addition to an answer, you may file a counterclaim for divorce if you also want to seek a divorce.

Q: What happens after a complaint for divorce is filed?

A: In many, but not all, contested divorce cases, motions for temporary orders are filed immediately after a complaint for divorce is served. Temporary Orders, entered by agreement of the parties or after hearing, are designed to maintain the status quo while the divorce action is pending. Temporary Orders address issues, including, if appropriate, temporary custody, child support, alimony, maintenance of health insurance, and payment of the carrying costs related to marital residence.

While the divorce is pending, the parties typically engage in discovery which is the exchange of information and documentation concerning their income, assets, liabilities and other issues relevant to their divorce. Discovery can be conducted informally with cooperation from the parties or formally through interrogatories, requests for production of documents, and depositions.

Q: How long will it take to get divorced?

A:Contested divorces whether filed on the basis of fault or irretrievable breakdown of the marriage should proceed to trial, if necessary, within fourteen months. In reality, however, given the number of cases pending in the Probate & Family Courts and the unique considerations of each case, your divorce, if it proceeds to trial, may take longer than fourteen months.

If you and your spouse agree on all issues surrounding the marriage, you may proceed with an uncontested divorce by filing a Joint Petition for Divorce. The Joint Petition is presented to the Court with a written agreement addressing the relevant issues (i.e. division of property, custody of the children, child support, alimony). There is no waiting period before the parties may submit their Joint Petition for Divorce to the Court.

Although your case may originally be contested, you and your spouse may amend the Complaint to a Joint Petition for Divorce at any time.

Q: How will the marital estate be divided upon divorce?

A: All assets, no matter when or how acquired and no matter who holds title, are subject to division. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement of the division of the marital estate, the Court, after trial, will equitably divide the marital estate. Pursuant to M.G.L. Ch. 208, Sec. 34, the Court must consider the following factors:

  • Length of marriage
  • Conduct of parties during the marriage
  • Age
  • Health
  • Station
  • Occupation
  • Amount and sources of income
  • Vocational skills
  • Employability
  • Estate
  • Liabilities and needs
  • Opportunity for future acquisition of capital assets and income
  • Present and future needs of dependent children of the marriage

In addition, the Court may consider:

  • The contribution of each party to the acquisition, preservation and appreciation of the marital estate
  • The contribution of each party as a homemaker to the family unit.

Q: Will I receive alimony?

A: Not necessarily. The fundamental purpose of alimony is to provide economic support for the dependent spouse. In determining whether to award alimony and if so, in what amount, the Court considers the same factors it considers when dividing the marital estate, including:

  • Length of marriage
  • Conduct of parties during the marriage
  • Age
  • Health
  • Station
  • Occupation
  • Amount and sources of income
  • Vocational skills
  • Employability
  • Estate
  • Liabilities and needs
  • Opportunity for future acquisition of capital assets and income
  • Present and future needs of dependent children of the marriage

In addition, the Court may consider:

  • The contribution of each party to the acquisition, preservation and appreciation of the marital estate
  • The contribution of each party as a homemaker to the family unit.

Q: How is child support calculated?

A:In most cases, child support is determined based on the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines. The Guidelines consider, among other things, the gross incomes of each party, the cost of health insurance and child care, and the number of children subject to support.

Q: My spouse is the wage earner in our family. Will he or she have to pay my legal fees?

A:Typically, each party is responsible to pay his or her own legal fees. However, if your spouse controls the family’s assets and income, you may file a motion with the Court requesting your spouse to provide you with funds sufficient to pay your legal fees. In most instances, the funds are treated as an advance against your ultimate share of marital assets. In addition, the Court may order your spouse to pay some or all of your legal fees if the Court finds your spouse has engaged in dilatory tactics and has acted unreasonably during the course of the litigation.

Please enter your name.
Please enter your email address.
Please enter your message.

You must attach a copy of the PDF application form linked above. You may add pages to the application, but the name of the file must remain the same.

Please attach Job_Application_Form.pdf
reCAPTCHA is mandatory
Subscribe to our newsletter.
First name is required.
Email is required.
Email does not match.
Publications
reCAPTCHA is mandatory
Welcome to fletcher tilton Online Invoice Payment Center.
Card holders name is required.
Please enter invoice number.
Please enter amount to be paid.
Please enter valid card number.
CCV code is required.
/
Please select expiration date.
Please enter your street address.
Please enter your city.
Please enter your state Code.
Please enter your postal code.
Please enter your contact number.
Please enter your email address.
Welcome to fletcher tilton Online Retainer Funding Center.
Card holders name is required.
Please enter a client number.
Please enter amount to be paid.
Please enter valid card number.
CCV code is required.
/
Please select expiration date.
Please enter your street address.
Please enter your city.
Please enter your state Code.
Please enter your postal code.
Please enter your contact number.
Please enter your email address.
Welcome to fletcher tilton Online Immigration Pre-Payment Center.
Bank account type is required.
Please enter a valid name.
Please enter amount to be paid.
Please enter client number.
Bank routing number is required.
Bank routing did not match.
Bank account number is required.
Bank account number did not match.
Please enter your street address.
Please enter your city.
Please enter your state Code.
Please enter your postal code.
Please enter your contact number.
Please enter your email address.
Welcome to fletcher tilton Online PAY BY CHECK.
Bank account type is required.
Please enter a valid name.
Please enter amount to be paid.
Please enter invoice number.
Bank routing number is required.
Bank routing did not match.
Bank account number is required.
Bank account number did not match.
Please enter your street address.
Please enter your city.
Please enter your state Code.
Please enter your postal code.
Please enter your contact number.
Please enter your email address.