Divorce can be a physically and emotionally draining experience. The emotional distress experienced by both parties is often compounded by custody, alimony, and property issues. The process can be easier and manageable if you have an understanding of the divorce laws in Woburn Massachusetts. Attorney Klovee helps clients through the divorce process in Woburn MA. This article presents an outline of what you can expect from Massachusetts divorce laws.
Fault and No-Fault
Divorce can either be categorized as fault or no-fault. Fault means that one of the parties is considered to be responsible for the end of the marriage. Some of the grounds for a fault divorce include lack of support, adultery, addiction to substances, mental or physical abuse, or having served a prison term of more than five years.
Most people opt for a no-fault divorce. This means that both parties have decided to go their separate ways for the simple reason that their marriage can’t be saved. This is sometimes referred to as “irretrievable breakdown of marriage”.
Just because a couple has opted for a no-fault divorce, does not mean that their divorce will be simple and straightforward. No-fault option can be split into two categories; contested and non-contested. A non-contested no-fault divorce is where the parties agree on matters pertaining to child custody, property rights, and parenting time. There are also couples who choose the no-fault option but cannot agree on these issues. If you choose to go for the no fault contested option you need to keep in mind that the legal proceedings can take longer and incur more legal expenses in the process.
Alimony is the support given to a spouse who is in need of financial aid for a specified period of time. The Alimony Reform Act of 2011 came with major changes that redefined divorce law in Massachusetts. There are now different types of alimony that are based on how long the marriage lasted and when the receiving party is able to get back on their feet amongst other factors.
- General term alimony: Requires the recipient spouse to be given regular schedule payments for a specific period of time. This period of time is often referred to as the “duration”. The duration is determined by how long the marriage lasted. The longer the marriage the longer the recipient spouse should continue receiving support. Marriages that lasted for more than 20 years can have an indefinite duration of payment.
- Reimbursement Alimony: Applies to marriages that have lasted for not more than five years. It differs from general term alimony in that the recipient receives a onetime payment. This payment is compensation for their contribution in the marriage which may include parental care and other forms of support.
- Transitional Alimony: Money given to the supported spouse to enable them transition into living independently.
- Rehabilitative Alimony: This is money paid to the receiving party so that they can get back on their feet and support themselves. The support given is meant to ensure that the supported spouse can get an education, acquire skills that will give them the capacity to be independent in the near future.
No matter what divorce situation you’re in, it’s best to contact a divorce attorney in Woburn, Massachusetts that can assist you in navigating these waters.
Woburn District Court
District court in Woburn, Massachusetts
Address: 30 Pleasant St, Woburn, MA 01801
Monday – Friday 8:30AM–4:30PM
Phone: (781) 935-4000