1A vs 1B Divorce in Massachusetts

When it comes to dissolving a marriage in Massachusetts, it’s essential to understand the different options available. While there are many intricacies in family law, two primary types of divorce processes in the state are the 1A and 1B divorce. If you or someone you know is considering a divorce, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with these processes to navigate the legal landscape effectively. In this blog post, we’ll outline the key differences, procedures, and what to expect for both.

1A Divorce (Uncontested Divorce)

A 1A divorce is also known as an uncontested divorce. This process implies that both parties have come to a complete agreement on all issues related to their divorce and are jointly filing a petition.

Steps for a 1A Divorce:

1. Joint Petition for Divorce: Both parties must file a Joint Petition for Divorce along with an Affidavit of Irretrievable Breakdown.

2. Marital Agreement: This is an agreement that addresses all the issues of the divorce, such as child custody, child support, property division, alimony, etc.

3. Financial Statements: Both parties must submit financial statements to the court if there are any financial issues involved, like alimony or child support.

4. Waiting Period: After submitting all necessary paperwork, there’s a statutory 30-day waiting period. A hearing date is usually scheduled after this period.

5. Court Hearing: Both parties must attend a brief hearing. If the judge approves the agreement and is satisfied that both parties fully understand and voluntarily agree to its terms, the divorce will be granted.

1B Divorce (Contested Divorce)

A 1B divorce, on the other hand, is a contested divorce. One party files and the other party has 20 days to respond. It implies that at least one issue remains unresolved, requiring the court’s intervention.

Steps for a 1B Divorce:

1. Complaint for Divorce: One party files the Complaint for Divorce, indicating the reason for the divorce.

2. Service of Process: The other party must be formally notified of the divorce proceedings.

3. Response: The served party has 20 days to file an answer, either agreeing or contesting the allegations.

4. Temporary Orders: If necessary, the court can issue temporary orders concerning child custody, support, or other urgent matters while the divorce is pending.

5. Discovery: Both parties can obtain information from each other to prepare for trial. This could include interrogatories, depositions, and document requests.

6. Pre-trial Conference: Before a full-blown trial, there’s usually a conference to narrow down the issues and see if a settlement is possible.

7. Trial: If no agreement is reached, the case goes to trial. After hearing all evidence, the judge will issue a final judgment on all contested matters.

Conclusion

Divorce is a significant decision that involves numerous considerations. Whether you are pursuing a 1A or 1B divorce in Massachusetts, having a competent attorney by your side can provide clarity and guidance, ensuring that your rights and interests are protected. If you have more questions or need expert assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced team at Logan & Logan LLP.

*Disclaimer: This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Consult with a licensed attorney in Massachusetts for specific guidance on your situation.*

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