Top 5 Massachusetts Divorce Laws

The top 5 things everyone should know about Massachusetts divorce laws.


In Massachusetts, the no-fault ground for divorce is irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, which may be file with or without a separation agreement.

A Massachusetts court may divide all marital and individual property (which includes property obtained by inheritance and gifts), based on factors like other spouse’s contribution to property, length of marriage, each spouse’s individual finances, and employability of the spouses.

When determining spousal support in a fault-based divorce the courts take into account the following, and more: the conduct of each spouse during the marriage, present and future needs of children, length of marriage, and spouse’s contribution to the marital property and relationship.

If there is no marital misconduct, both parents are given equal custody. If the parents contest joint custody, then shared custody is awarded once a parenting plan is drawn up and agreed upon.

A spouse can be relieved of paying child support if the paying parent has other children to support on insufficient resources, the paying parent has extraordinary expenses (like has to fly to visit child, or debt), and other unusual circumstances.

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