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What is a no-fault 1A divorce?

After a reluctant decision, you and your partner have decided to divorce. But no matter the reasons that drove you apart, you mutually agree that you would rather negotiate your divorce terms amicably between the two of you rather than face down with lawyers and judges deciding the terms by their standards. Under Massachusetts law, do you have the right to define the terms of your own divorce?

As long as both parties are in agreement and state that agreement in writing, Mass.gov says yes. This situation is referred to as a "no-fault 1A divorce," and occurs when both parties in a divorce have settled on agreeable terms regarding parenting, child support and custody, alimony and division of marital assets without the need to pursue mandatory legal recompense under Massachusetts divorce law.

In order to file a no-fault 1A divorce, you and your partner must draft a separation agreement and have it properly notarized. This separation agreement must be explicit in all terms and details. A qualified divorce mediator may be able to help you understand which terms should be covered. You must also have a certified copy of your marriage certificate, and completed copies of a joint petition for divorce.

You must also prepare a joint affidavit of irretrievable breakdown. What does that mean? It means that both parties involved in the marriage agree that the relationship has deteriorated beyond recovery, and both wish to be released from any legally binding marriage contract.

Please use this article only for reference purposes as it is not an actionable legal recommendation.

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