Seder & Chandler, LLP
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Filing divorce petition kickstarts divorce process

When a marriage ends up not being what two parties expected it to be, their only choice may understandably be to get divorced. However, filing for divorce in Massachusetts may seem like a complicated endeavor due to the many potentially complex legal steps involved. However, the first step is relatively simple: filing a divorce petition in court.

A divorce petition is essentially the legal document that the petitioner, or the spouse seeking divorce, files to tell the court that he or she wants a marital dissolution. The court filing signifies the start of the process of dissolving the marriage. After the document has been filed, it must be served on the spouse of the petitioner.

Once this petition is served on the other party, it basically notifies this spouse that the process of ending the marriage has started. In the petition, the petitioner must include basic information such as the couple's address, names and marriage location and date. More detailed information must also be included, such as why the petitioner is wanting a divorce and how he or she wants matters such as property division handled.

After the serving of the petition in Massachusetts, gathering documents and making decisions about various divorce issues, such as finances and child custody, is paramount. Other topics that are important to discuss as soon as possible include spousal support and child support. If the spouses are able to find common ground, they may be able to come up with their own agreement regarding the division of their retirement funds and child visitation, for example. Otherwise, a judge will end up making decisions on these issues for them.

Source:, "Filing and Serving the Divorce/Dissolution Petition", Accessed on Sept. 19, 2017

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