1B Divorce Process In Massachusetts

Divorce is never easy, but understanding the process can help alleviate some of the stress and uncertainty. In Massachusetts, the 1B divorce process, also known as a contested or no-fault divorce, is an option for couples who cannot agree on the terms of their separation. This blog post aims to provide a step-by-step guide to the 1B divorce process in Massachusetts, helping you confidently navigate this challenging time.

What is a 1B Divorce?

A 1B divorce is a legal proceeding initiated by one spouse (the plaintiff) when the couple cannot reach an agreement on important issues such as child custody, child support, alimony, or property division. The other spouse (the defendant) has the opportunity to respond to the divorce complaint, and the court ultimately decides on the unresolved matters.

Eligibility Criteria

To file for a 1B divorce in Massachusetts, you must meet the following requirements:


Either you or your spouse must be a resident of Massachusetts if the grounds for divorce occur in the state. If the grounds for divorce occurred outside of Massachusetts, one spouse must have lived in the state for at least one year.

Grounds for Divorce

You must cite an “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage as the reason for the divorce.

The 1B Divorce Process

Filing the Complaint

The process begins when one spouse files a Complaint for Divorce (Form CJ-D 101B) with the Probate and Family Court in the county where either spouse lives. The filing spouse must also serve the other spouse with the divorce papers.


The defendant’s spouse has 20 days to file an Answer to the Complaint, indicating their agreement or disagreement with the terms outlined in the complaint

Automatic Financial Restraining Order

An automatic financial restraining order goes into effect upon filing for divorce, preventing either spouse from making significant financial changes without the court’s approval.

Case Management Conference

Within 45 days of the defendant’s answer, both parties must attend a Case Management Conference to discuss the status of the case and set a timeline for the divorce proceedings.


During this phase, both parties exchange financial information and other relevant documents. This helps each spouse build their case and prepare for negotiations or trial.

Pre-Trial Conference

Before the trial, a pre-trial conference is held to attempt to resolve any outstanding issues and streamline the trial process.


If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the case goes to trial. Each side presents evidence and arguments, and the judge makes a final decision on all contested issues.


After the trial, the judge issues a Judgment of Divorce Nisi, which becomes final 90 days later.

Contact The Experts At Logan & Logan LLP For A Divorce Attorney On The South Shore

The 1B divorce process in Massachusetts can be complex and emotionally taxing. It’s crucial to clearly understand the steps involved and seek legal representation to protect your rights and interests. If you are considering a divorce or are in the midst of a 1B divorce, Logan & Logan LLP is here to provide the guidance and support you need during this challenging time. With over 30 years of combined experience, Logan & Logan LLP are the right experts to come to. Book your free consultation through our contact form or give us a call at (617) 209-3723.

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