When you initiate a Massachusetts divorce, you may decide to pursue a no-fault divorce. A no-fault divorce means that your marriage broke down due to irreconcilable differences or something similar, rather than the actions of one party of the other. If you file for divorce because of something specific your former partner did, such as committing adultery, you may decide to pursue a fault divorce.
Per Mass.gov, your situation must meet certain criteria for you to move forward with a fault divorce.
When you may file for divorce in Massachusetts
To file for either type of Massachusetts divorce, your situation must meet one of two circumstances. In the first scenario, you may file for divorce if you have been a resident of Massachusetts for at least one year. In the second, you may move forward with a divorce filing if the event that caused your marriage to end took place in Massachusetts and you and your spouse lived in the state together as a couple.
When you may file for a fault divorce
The state recognizes seven specific grounds for a fault divorce. As noted, adultery is one. Others include desertion, cruel and abusive treatment and impotency. You may also decide to pursue a fault divorce if your spouse has a clear and documented drinking problem, or if he or she must go to prison for at least five years.
Some people believe that filing for a fault divorce offers advantages in terms of property division and other areas. However, this is not necessarily the case. Sometimes, filing for a fault divorce may lead to complications when compared with filing for a no-fault split.