How to File for Divorce in MA? Explanation of the Massachusetts Divorce Forms and Process

learn about divorce in massachusettsIt can be overwhelming to figure out how to get a divorce in Massachusetts.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires a number of documents, including a full disclosure of your financials and a separation agreement. I have provided lots of useful information for you.

How to File for Divorce in MA

If you are considering mediating your divorce in Massachusetts you are likely to file for a 1A no-fault divorce. A 1A no-fault divorce is when both spouses agree, that for a number of reasons, the marriage is over. They are in agreement that they are both better off divorcing and moving their separate ways. Unlike a 1B no-fault divorce in Massachusetts, a 1A is a joint petition that only requires a single hearing with a judge in most cases.

In order to file for divorce in MA, spouses need to complete and submit to the proper court the following Probate court forms:

NOTE: If you have trouble downloading forms from the Probate Website click here to troubleshoot.

  1. Listing of what must be filed for divorce
  2. Joint Petition for Divorce
  3. Certified copy of civil marriage certificate
  4. R-408-Certificate of Absolute Divorce
  5. Separation Agreement
  6. Affidavit of Irretrievable Breakdown
  7. Affidavit Disclosing of Care and Custody (parents only)
  8. Filing Fee of $215
  9. Financial Statements:
    1. Short form
    2. Short form instructions
    3. Long form
    4. Long form instructions
    5. Schedule A: Self-employment or business income
    6. Schedule B: Rental Income
  10. Motion for a Remote Divorce Hearing (optional)

Child Support:


Parenting Information:

Additional Information:

For more information visit the Probate and Family Court website.

Explaining All the Forms Needed to Divorce in MA

Joint Petition for Divorce: This is a form requesting a 1A no-fault divorce that is signed by both spouses.

R-408 Certificate: This is a form that is used by the courts for statistical purposes only.

Separation Agreement: A document that outlines the terms and agreements of the divorce made between the couples. It is considered a legal document once it is signed and is used in 1A no-fault divorces. Separation agreements address issues related to property, assets, alimony, child support, custody, parenting agreements and other important details.

Affidavit of Irretrievable Breakdown: This is a document that identifies the date and reason the marriage broke down.

Financial Statements: Both spouses are required to complete financial statements and disclose them to one another. For individuals with incomes of less that $75,000 complete the short form and individuals with incomes greater than $75,000 complete the long form.

Child Support Guidelines Worksheet: The worksheet must be submitted to the court. However, if the couple believes that a different figure is fair and reasonable, and can explain it to the court, they are not bound to follow the figure calculated in the worksheet.

Child Support Deviation Form: This must be completed if you are requesting the court to approve a child support amount that is different than what is calculated on the child support worksheet.

Affidavit Disclosing Care and Custody: A form required by the court detailing information about children from the marriage and their custody status.

Motion for Remote Hearing: This is required to request a remote “zoom” hearing.

Finalizing the Divorce in Massachusetts

One spouse may bring all of the completed paperwork to the Probate and Family Court Department.  The court will mail notification of the scheduled court date to both spouses.  The couple then attends court on the assigned date for a brief hearing by a judge.  If the judge approves everything, the divorce will be final 120 days after the judge approves it.

Free Consultation on How Mediation Can Help You Divorce in Massachusetts

Feel free to contact me for a free consultation to talk in person about how to get a divorce in Massachusetts.