Divorce Lawyers and Family Attorneys for the Citizens of Springfield, Massachusetts
In order to get divorced in Springfield Massachusetts, individuals must file for divorce and receive a court judgment that ends the marriage. Because there are so many ways individuals can file for divorce in Massachusetts, many divorcing individuals seek the help of a divorce and family lawyer to protect their rights, to ensure that all forms are filed properly, and to protect their children and finances. In Massachusetts individuals can file for either “fault” or “no fault” divorce. During a fault divorce, one party is blamed for the end of the marriage. A “no fault” divorce is also called “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage.” Furthermore, a divorce can be “contested” or “uncontested.” An irretrievable breakdown of marriage divorce can also be divided into two categories. Either both parties agree about child custody, visitation, alimony, and division of marital assets, or both parties agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken, but still cannot come to a written agreement about child custody, visitation, alimony, and division of marital assets. With so many options, divorcing individuals may not always know how to file. Every case is unique and there is no right or wrong way to file for divorce. Individuals need to consider many factors when deciding how to file for divorce. Factors to consider include:
- Circumstances leading up to the divorce
- Children (child support and custody)
- Concerns about visitation
- Plans for the future: including future residence
- Alimony (should one party pay the other party?)
- Division of assets (stocks, bank accounts)
- Division of property (cars, homes)
An experienced divorce lawyer and family law attorney in Springfield, MA can help you ask the right questions to ensure that you are selecting the best option for you and your children. Dinsmore Stark, Attorneys at Law understands that divorce can be a stressful time with many questions. Our firm takes the time to understand your unique needs and challenges and ensures that you receive the best outcome for your divorce judgment.
The Divorce Process in Massachusetts
In order to file for divorce, individuals or couples must follow a certain process. The process includes:
- Filing all forms and submitting all fees
- Serving divorce papers (when applicable)
- Attendance of parent education classes (when applicable)
- Attendance of pre-trial hearing (when applicable)
- Writing a separation agreement (when applicable)
- Undergoing the discovery process (when applicable)
- Attendance at court date
The process leading up to divorce will vary depending on whether the divorce is contested or not, and whether the divorce is a “fault” or “no fault” divorce. For instance, if only one spouse files for divorce, the spouse filing must properly file a notice and domestic relations summons. The spouse must prove that these papers have been properly served.
Couples who are filing for uncontested no-fault divorce will need to properly file all paperwork, including a joint separation agreement, a joint affidavit of irretrievable breakdown, Form R-408, and a copy of the marriage certificate. A court date will not be set until all forms are properly filed. Additionally, a court date won’t be set until both spouses submit financial information and proof of a parent education class (if children are involved). A judge will then review the case and enter a judgment.
A contested divorce often involves a more complex process, often leading up to trial. Both parties may have to undergo a discovery process where individuals are questioned, interrogations are held, and financial statements must be disclosed. Individuals must also decide if any witnesses will be present at trial. For contested divorce in Springfield MA, hearings are often scheduled 6 months after all paperwork is filed. Parties may attend pre-trial hearings in an attempt to negotiate a separation agreement or to obtain temporary orders. If an agreement cannot be made, a trial will be held and a judge will make the final determination.
Regardless of the process individuals will use to get divorced in Springfield Massachusetts, you need a skilled divorce and family law attorney to protect your rights and ensure that all procedures are properly followed. Failing to properly submit paperwork can lead to a more lengthy process and, in some cases, the court may even dismiss cases until all forms are properly submitted. Additionally, when questions about finances, children, and alimony are at stake, a divorce and family law attorney can ensure that you receive the best possible judgment. If you’re about to begin the process of divorce in Springfield, MA, you need Dinsmore Stark, Attorneys at Law.
Helping You Get the Best Divorce Settlement for You and Your Children
Divorce can lead to many drastic life changes. You may wonder where you and your children will live, who will keep the house, how money will be divided, and how you’ll negotiate the division of marital debt. While some couples are able to come to a resolution about these questions on their own, many individuals seek the counsel of a divorce and family lawyer. Dinsmore Stark, Attorneys at Law understands that divorce can be the most difficult time in a person’s life. We work hard to help you arrive at a separation agreement that is best for you, your children, and your finances. Protect your rights. Seek the help of a skilled divorce and family law attorney in Springfield, MA. Contact Dinsmore Stark, Attorneys at Law today.