Divorce Attorneys Fall River MA

Botelho Law Group handles your legal separation claim with the top Professional Divorce Attorneys in Fall River MA and Cape Cod. We help you to fulfill all your legal needs. Contact us @ (855) 910-9624.

Divorce Lawyers Fall River MA

Learn More About Legal Matters Regarding Divorce

More than 50% of marriages end in divorce, but this doesn’t make it feel any better when it happens to you. If you’ve been served with divorce papers, are discussing divorce with your spouse or are just beginning to consider ending your marriage, it’s helpful to speak to an experienced Massachusetts divorce attorney who can help you understand your rights and obligations. It’s heartbreaking to consider that somebody you once loved is now your adversary, but when money is an issue it can bring out the worst in anybody, so it’s important to protect yourself and your children financially by obtaining legal advice. One of the worst mistakes you can make in a divorce is to allow your spouse to railroad you into not getting legal advice because it might drag things out. On the contrary, knowing your rights is the first step towards crafting an amicable settlement that can help you avoid a long and drawn out legal battle.

Uncontested vs. Contested Divorces

An uncontested divorce is one where both spouses agree about all the issues and all that’s needed is a legal stamp of approval by the court. In such situations, the “no-fault” divorce decree will usually state that the marriage was irretrievably broken beyond repair due to irreconcilable differences between the spouses. The process is simplified if you agree on all terms before filing for divorce because you can file a Section 1A divorce that includes a joint petition and separation agreement. If you agree on terms after you file, you can resolve your case by filing under Section 1B with a full written agreement on all issues. Most cases in Massachusetts are resolved under 1A or 1B. A contested divorce is one that is commenced because the parties cannot come to an agreement, but most contested cases are settled prior to a trial.

Equitable Distribution

In Massachusetts, marital property is subject to equitable distribution. This means that the judge will decide how much property each spouse receives based on what they believe is fair. The marital home is usually the most substantial asset and a spouse that would like to keep the home usually has to buy out the interest of the other spouse, plus take on the mortgage and other carrying costs for the home. If neither spouse can afford to do this, the home is sold and the assets are distributed to the spouses. Some couples will agree to allow the custodial parent to remain in the home until the youngest child graduates from high school. Vested pensions and retirement accountants are considered marital property in Massachusetts and subject to equitable distribution. It’s important to work with an experienced Massachusetts divorce attorney that can help you collect your fair share of the marital assets.

Child Custody and Child Support

If there are children of the marriage, there must be arrangements for their custody and support. Massachusetts distinguishes between legal custody, which is the right to make decisions for children and physical custody, which is where the children reside. In most cases there is joint or shared legal custody and the children reside primarily with one of the parents, but shared physical custody is becoming more common. A parent that doesn’t have primary physical custody is referred to as a non-custodial parent and is entitled to parenting time with the children. A typical parenting time schedule is alternating weekends, a mid week dinner with shared school breaks and alternating major holidays. The court will approve any reasonable arrangement that is in the best interests of the children.

Grounds For Divorce In Massachusetts

The vast majority of divorces in Massachusetts are filed under 1B as no-fault cases, but Massachusetts does allow fault based actions to be filed for a variety of different grounds. It’s rarely helpful to bring a divorce action based on fault because of difficulty of proving grounds, the increased cost of the litigation and the fact that it’s unlikely to impact property division. These are the grounds for divorce in Massachusetts:

  • Adultery
  • Impotency
  • Utter Desertion
  • Gross and Confirmed Habits of Gross Intoxication
  • Cruel and Abusive Treatment and
  • Failure to Provide Suitable Support.

Many divorcing spouses come into their Massachusetts divorce attorney’s office seeking to file on grounds because they like the idea of proving that their spouse had “gross and confirmed habits of gross intoxication” or committed adultery, but come to understand that it’s impractical.

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