Divorce Requirements

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Divorce Requirements in Westborough in Worcester County

When you’ve decided that divorce is the right course of action for you, or your spouse has filed for divorce, the minutiae of what conditions must be met is probably the last thing on your mind. We know that in the beginning of the divorce process, it can be difficult to determine where to start and what to do. With over 35 years of cumulative experience, our divorce attorneys at O’Connor Family Law know what to expect and what is required if you are facing divorce in Westborough. We can walk you through the process to help ensure no stone is left unturned during your divorce.

What Are the Residency Provisions for Divorce in Massachusetts?

To file for divorce in Westborough or any other town within Massachusetts, it is required that at least one of the parties must have lived in Massachusetts for at least one year prior to the filing date or that the marriage must have broken down in Massachusetts. If you or your spouse have lived in the Commonwealth for at least one year, you can simply file your divorce pleadings in the county you reside in. However, if you have not lived here for the full year, there may still be exceptions allowing you to file, such as if the marriage broke down within Massachusetts and one or both of the parties are now residents of the state. The second one can be a little tricky, but we’ve successfully argued this for clients before.

If you happen to have a choice of what state or even what county to file in, give our firm a call so we can tell you about the pros and cons. There are many situations which make where to file a divorce complex, and there may be issues in your case that might get you a better result in one state over another if you do happen to have a choice of where to file. The beginning of the divorce process can be extremely confusing, and it may be difficult to know what to do next. We understand everything that you are going through and are ready to stand by your side to provide creative solutions to the problems you will face.

Do We Have to Live Separately Before Divorce?

Massachusetts law does not require that a married couple live separately before filing for divorce. We have represented many clients who have continued to live with their spouse during the divorce process. We have even had a few cases where the couple decided to continue to live together after the divorce. There is no requirement that you and your spouse must live apart before or during a divorce. In fact, leaving the house may put you in a tougher position than if you stayed. You should always contact a divorce attorney before you decide to move out of the marital home, especially if there are children or you want to be able to retain the home after the divorce.

How Long Will It Take for Me to Get Divorced?

This is a great question that everyone wants the answer to. Procedurally, once a contested divorce is filed, the court cannot enter the final divorce agreement for six months after the filing date. If a contested divorce is filed yet the parties are able to come to all agreements within that first half of year, your attorney can help you file a joint motion to revert the contested filing to joint petition for an uncontested divorce, expediting the process.

Your divorce attorney at O’Connor Family Law will always focus on getting you in and out of the court system as quickly and efficiently as possible; however, we cannot control your ex. We cannot force people to come to agreements and sign a divorce agreement. We cannot make your ex be reasonable. Although there are a number of couples who can get along during the divorce process, having some conflict is typical. Your case may need temporary orders in relation to a visitation schedule, child support, who remains in the home, and who pays the bills during the divorce. You may have a spouse who lies and trying to get information from is more difficult. You may have a spouse who is more interested in revenge and continuing to be angry than working with you to settle. You may have extensive business interests or a complex estate plan that takes more time in relation to obtaining valuations.

In other words, how long your divorce takes really comes down to the ability for you and your spouse to work together to come up with a negotiated agreement. We have had cases come in that sound incredibly complex but we are able to settle quickly. We have also had cases where the Parties have nothing to fight over, which should be incredibly easy, but the other spouse refuses to sign the paperwork and we’ve just had to run the clock within a contested divorce so the Judge could enter the divorce without the other Parties’ cooperation.

The best way to get your divorce over with is to be reasonable. Conflict always makes things take longer. Sometimes you won’t be able to settle because your spouse wants a result that isn’t fair. But hanging onto anger, jealousy, control, hatred – those are all things that will only help to make the lawyers wealthy because they simply tend to prolong the process.

    "O'Connor Family Law and specifically Lydia Field were amazing throughout my entire divorce process. Lydia was so knowledgeable, responsive, and helpful as we worked through the mountains of paperwork."

    - Sarah M.

    "I am so happy with the services Attorney Khan provided, she came in at the last minute after a previous attorney did not fulfil his duties and she found errors he had made, worked all weekend on a rush to finalize my divorce."

    - Courtney O.

    "LaKeshia Parker Smalls and her team were so wonderful throughout my divorce process. I spoke with a few other lawyers before hiring her who made me feel like a burden with all the questions I needed answers to."

    - Jessica C.

    "Sasha Khan worked with me for 10 months on a child custody modification. She had a difficult case with the opposing party, but was very professional and driven to defend me and give advice through a very difficult time in my life."

    - Shannon W.

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