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How do I get Divorced if My Spouse is Missing?AIf your spouse has disappeared and cannot be found, then at least a status only Divorce, ending your marriage can be had by effecting service on your spouse by publication in a newspaper.
AlimonyAThe most common, a “no-fault” divorce” is based on statutory grounds of an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage”. Divorces on the basis of “fault” have become rare; meaning those on typical grounds of cruel and abusive treatment, adultery and abandonment.QWhat Is a “No-fault” Divorce?AYes, no one needs a reason to be divorced, other one spouse wants to be divorced. Uncooperative spouses can make things take longer and perhaps, cost more, but not prevent a divorce.QCan My Spouse Make me Stay Married?
AdoptionABest case, about half a year from the decision to be divorced to the judgment of divorce, absolute.QHow Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce?ANo.Joint representation is a conflict of interest and cannot be done.QCan You Represent Both Me and My Spouse?AGenerally, No. Marriages are annulled only in two very limited circumstances: void marriages and voidable marriages. Marriages of short duration may not be annulled simply because they did not last very long.QInstead of Getting Divorced Can My Marriage Be Annulled?
1. Void Marriages. Void marriages means either: Bigamy, a spouse is married to two or more people at once; or, the spouses are already too closely related: parents, siblings, and children are examples.
2.Voidable Marriages. A marriage not freely, knowingly and intelligently made, made with a spouse not of legal age or with a spouse not physically capable of a sexual relationship, and finally in very strict circumstances that show the marriage is based on a fraud.AAfter being resident in the Commonwealth for a year, you should be able to file for Divorce in Massachusetts. If your case is out of the ordinary, for example, your spouse lives elsewhere or child custody is an issue, then the time is residence may change or the Court may or may not have jurisdiction over things like alimony, child support or property division.QCan I get a divorce in Massachusetts?
Even if you were married in Massachusetts, but if neither spouse currently lives in the Commonwealth, it is unlikely that you can file for divorce in Massachusetts.
Consulting a lawyer with these questions is warranted.
Child CustodyATechnically, no; Massachusetts does not have a “legal separation.” Couples separate when they voluntarily choose to live apart, but they remain legally married.QInstead of Getting Divorced May I Apply for a Legal Separation?
Actions for Separate Support do exist in the Commonwealth; they are uncommon and in practice are generally amended to state a claim for a Divorce.AYes, a Client’s right to the lawyer of their choice is of Constitutional proportion; that means that at almost any time you can discharge your lawyer for any reason or even no reason.QCan I Change Lawyers in the Middle of My Divorce?
With that said, should you? Changes in representation should not be lightly undertaken: an overall increase in your legal costs is almost unavoidable, there will be additional delay and you will loose the benefit your current lawyer’s first-hand knowledge of circumstances and developments in your case.
Do, consider getting a second opinion and the possibility that your dissatisfaction is really the result of the overloaded “system” and outside the control of your lawyer, or that infrequent communication from your lawyer may really be your lawyer’s best efforts to control your costs and not waste your money with empty status reports.AYes, but usually a very short and uncomplicated hearing. Sometimes, even on the same day you file your Court papers.QDoes an Uncontested Divorce Require a Court Hearing?
Father’s RightsAYes, patterns of serious substance abuse are among the classic grounds for divorce on the basis of “cause” or “fault”.QDoes Massachusetts Recognize Drug Addiction as Grounds for Divorce?AYes, perhaps half of the people in Family Court do choose to be self-represented. Chiefly, people choose to be their own lawyers for reasons of economy–lawyers are expensive.QCan I Get a Divorce Without a Lawyer in Massachusetts?
With that said, being self represented may be a false economy. People who represent themselves are held to the same standards as licensed, professional lawyers, overcoming unfamiliarity with the technical law and procedure becomes a part time job and some Courts are particularly unreceptive to self-represented litigants because they make work in the Court harder.
Your time may be better spent, yielding a better, more predictable product by diverting the part -time job of being self-represented into a paying additional part-time job you can use to hire a lawyer. are and While it is usually best to enlist the aid of an attorney when seeking a divorce, especially when there are children and assets involved or you have trouble communicating with your spouse, it is still possible to obtain a divorce without an attorney.ANo one can say for sure in advance. The aggregate, eventual cost will be a function of the level of conflict with your spouse and the complexity of the issues in your case. Fully half of the responsibility for the costs of your case rests with what your spouse chooses to or not to do.QHow Much Does a Divorce Cost?
Hourly rates are misleading. Lesser rates often indicate lesser experienced lawyers who simply take longer to accomplish the same task a more experienced lawyer can accomplish is less time.
Typically, cases with agreements cost less to complete and cases with conflict cost more. A responsible budget for a typical two-hearing no-fault, uncontested case, should be in a range between $4000.00, and $10,000.00; on the lower end, in a case without a contested Parenting Plan and between two Parties who are both salaried employees and on the upper end if there has is a business to be divided or a history of abuse or deception. Be prepared for costs to escalate dramatically, if there is no Agreement and the matter proceeds to Trial.
Actions for Separate Support do exist in the Commonwealth; they are uncommon and in practice are generally amended to state a claim for a Divorce.
Child SupportAAxiomatically, Divorces are supposed to be tough, life changing experiences, but almost every one proceeds on grounds of “no-fault” and comes to conclusion with an Agreement.QWhat Is the Divorce Process Like?
Every case wends its way through the same reefs and shoals, but some avoid much of the economic and emotional wreckage by taking the “easier” way instead of the “harder” way.
The “Easy” Way; the parties negotiate a full and final agreement (a “Separation Agreement”) straight away, and on all their issues: including property division, alimony, a parenting plan and child support. Filing their agreement, and a “Joint Petition” and related documentation, the parties set their hearing at which the Court establishes the agreement is “fair and reasonable”, which both parties understand and mean to be bound by.
The “Hard” Way; one of the parties files a “Complaint for Divorce”, which is served on the other side. The parties engage in hearings for temporary orders, engage in discovery and contested court hearings . Six months passes, either side may request a trial date and the Case settles with an Agreement that looks much like the one in the “Easy” way.
The “Really Hard” Way; the case does not settle, but goes to Trial, each side puts on witnesses and evidence and the Judge makes the decision, that still looks a lot like the Agreement reach in the “Easy” way of doing things.A“Retainers” are payments in advance for legal services. The payments in advance are placed into a trust account and as your lawyer works on your case he or she bills against the funds in trust and the money comes out of the client’s account. Retainers are really pre-paid legal fees.QWhat Is a “Retainer” and Why Do Lawyers Need One?
Lawyers needs retainers because once an attorney is “on” the case, representing a client, the lawyer cannot simply withdraw without the Court’s permission and sometimes, judge says no, and the lawyer has to work for free.
The size of the retainer in your case depends on the levels of complexity and conflict in your case.A1. Look for a lawyer experienced in the specialized field of divorce law.QHow do I Choose a Divorce Lawyer?
2. A lawyer familiar in the Court where your case will be heard and known to the particular judges who may be involved with your case is generally helpful.
3. Legal services are always furnished on the basis of a personal relationship, you need someone you are comfortable working with. Your attorney should be responsive to your questions and concerns and return your phone calls promptly. Finally, your lawyer should be a skilled negotiator and be prepared to aggressively litigate as may be necessary.
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