This article was last updated: Nov. 1st, 2022
The Probate and Family Court has to grant your divorce for it to be legally valid even if you have a signed separation agreement. The Court is not there to control your divorce. The role of the Court is to ensure the divorce is fair to both spouses and any minor children of the marriage will benefit from the terms of the divorce. The Court doesn’t decide who gets to divorce. It will, however, ensure every divorce filing adheres to the law and is fair. The Probate and Family Court cannot deny your divorce if you fulfill all the requirements, the terms are fair to both of you and in your child’s best interests.
The first requirement to get a divorce is to have grounds for it. It is not necessary for both spouses to want the divorce. Massachusetts recognizes both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. If you are using a fault ground for your divorce you must prove it for the divorce to be granted. You and your spouse will have to sign an agreement acknowledging the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage if you are using the no-fault ground for divorce. You will also need to submit certain forms. If you are working with an experienced Massachusetts divorce mediator, he or she can inform you of the required forms you will need to submit. You can prepare these forms in mediation, by yourself, or have an attorney do it for you. Your forms may vary based on the grounds for your divorce, whether or not you have children, and the specific facts and circumstances of your divorce. Beyond proving your grounds and submitting all the necessary documents, the terms of your divorce must be fair to you, your spouse, and your children for the Court to grant your divorce.
If you are mediating your divorce and you and your spouse agree on everything, you should only have to appear at one hearing. Working with an experienced mediator can help ensure you and your spouse are well prepared for this hearing. Remember, the Court will not grant your divorce if the terms are grossly unfair to one spouse or if they are not in the best interests of your child. This is the golden standard in family law. An experienced divorce mediator can help ensure your divorce is granted at your hearing.
If you have questions about the divorce process, contact Mediation Advantage Services for expert family law help. Experienced in complex divorce mediation Law Office of Polly Tatum can help you and your spouse mediate your divorce, saving you the stress and costs of litigation. Based in historic Worcester with a satellite office in Northboro, MA, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County. Call our office at (774) 366-3688, fill out our online form, today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free e-book for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.