Westborough Uncontested Divorce Attorneys for Spouses Who Agree

When couples divorcing are capable of coming to an agreement concerning how to process the divorce concerning the split of assets, child custody, and other key factors, an uncontested divorce offers an efficient pathway.

Our team of experienced Westborough uncontested divorce attorneys at O’Connor Family Law can help ensure the ease and effectiveness of your divorce process. Our advocates are ready to help you navigate the Massachusetts uncontested divorce process and help you move forward with the next chapter of your life.

Massachusetts’ Uncontested Divorce Statutes 

In Massachusetts, an uncontested divorce is generally referred to as a “no-fault 1A divorce”. The Massachusetts Probate and Family Court notes that a 1A divorce should be filed when both spouses mutually agree that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, and cannot continue. This is basically a blanket statement that means both parties agree that the marriage should be ended. This means that nobody has to “take the blame” or be “at fault” for the marriage and you can both move on with the next chapters of your lives.

To file an uncontested divorce in Massachusetts, both spouses must come to a written agreement surrounding several factors. These factors include:

Child Support

Whether or not a parent receives child support depends on a variety of factors. To learn more about child support determinations, you can read through the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines. Child support is meant to support the financial needs of the children and is generally awarded from a higher income parent to a lower income parent. Of course, there may be other considerations outlined in the guidelines or various aspects that a judge considers in their determination. Child support is meant to help the child or children achieve a similar standard of living in both homes or a standard of living comparable to what they might receive living with either parent. The amount to be granted for child support is determined by a set formula so while the exact amount of money that your attorney is proposing might seem nonsensical, it is actually in accordance with a standard. You may be able to receive child support if you were never married to your child’s father, the process is just slightly more involved, potentially requiring the establishment of paternity and other verifications that child support would, in fact, be appropriate for the child or children.

Parenting Time

The state of Massachusetts is focused on the best interests of the child when it comes to determining parenting time and visitation rights. When both parents are capable of providing a child with a safe and productive environment in the home, the court will generally rule in favor of joint physical custody, which means that the child spends as close as practically possible to even amounts of time with each parent. However, factors such as proximity to school, the commute, and other environmental factors can be taken into account when it comes time to identify the ideal child care situation for the former spouses. 


Also known as spousal support, alimony is granted when the Court determines that one spouse is less capable of providing for themselves than the other, or that they require additional assistance to achieve financial stability following the marriage. There are a variety of forms of alimony that your Westborough family law lawyers can advise you on, including restitution-based alimony that compensates one spouse for support that they might have provided the other during marriage.

The Division of Shared Property

The marital assets that are built throughout the duration of a marriage are often the most significant points of contention in a divorce. Working with attorneys who are capable of effectively and accurately measuring the resources available to the parties in a divorce, then negotiating a fair split, is often more effective and efficient for all parties involved as attorneys and mediators can help provide a barrier to filter the emotion out of requests. 

While this list is by no means exhaustive, it does present a strong summary of those factors that are most influential within the context of a divorce. When couples have children, high value assets, or complex securities and other holdings, working with a highly experienced divorce lawyer strongly supports the best possible outcome in your proceedings. 

The Process of Filing an Uncontested Divorce in Massachusetts 

There are five steps involved in the processing of an uncontested or 1A divorce in Massachusetts:

  1. Determine your eligibility to get divorced in the state of Massachusetts 
  2. Draft a separation agreement 
  3. Fill out the necessary paperwork 
  4. File the requisite paperwork and pay the appropriate fees 
  5. Attend the necessary hearing to process your divorce 

The completion of these five steps is necessary to process an uncontested divorce, and while it is possible to complete the paperwork on your own, it is particularly helpful to work with Westborough uncontested divorce attorneys for assistance to ensure that the process is effectively completed. Without a thorough understanding of the implications of each facet of your divorce agreement and its contents, you might realize years later that you shot yourself in the foot when reading through your agreement, and once you agree to something, it can be extremely difficult, if not near-impossible, to overturn. 

Modifying a divorce agreement can be difficult, time-consuming, and costly. To help enable you to focus on your future as soon as possible you’ll need an initial divorce agreement that aligns with the mutual goals and desires of yourself and your ex-spouse. 

#1 – Eligibility to Divorce in Massachusetts

You are eligible to file for a divorce in the state of Massachusetts when the following terms are met:

  • You have resided in the state for 1 year or more, or
  • The reason the marriage ended occurred in Massachusetts, and you have resided in the state as a couple 

The relevant facts to prove to the court that you are eligible to divorce in Massachusetts must be included in your pleading should you hope to achieve your goals. The courts will only review evidence that you submit with your claim in the appropriate format and at the appropriate time, and working with the O’Connor Family Law team ensures that all of the “t’s” are crossed and the i’s are dotted” throughout the process. 

#2 – Write a Separation Agreement 

In order to effectively process your uncontested divorce, you will need a drafted separation agreement that is mutually agreeable, and accepted, by both members of the marriage. The separation agreement is essentially a contract between the spouses that clarifies how a variety of central issues that might emerge following the end of the marriage will be addressed, including the following: 

  • Child custody and support 
  • Parenting time
  • Alimony and spousal support 
  • Dividing the shared property of the marriage or the marital assets 
  • Determining how to best determine the status of separate property that may have commingled with marital assets and prospectively been converted in whole or in part 

For a separation agreement to take effect, both members of the couple must sign it, and further, it must also be notarized, meaning signed in the presence of a notary and then recorded. There are a variety of ways that a separation agreement may be reached, but generally each party to the divorce will have an attorney of their own to assist in the negotiations. A third-party divorce mediator is also a common strategy to ensure that the partners and their legal representatives work together to achieve a mutually agreeable and beneficial outcome. 

Separation agreements are contracts that effectively survive the divorce. However, in some instances a separation agreement is not binding unless and until it is approved by the judge. When this occurs, the separation agreement can merge with the divorce judgment into a single legally binding decision. 

#3 – Complete Your Paperwork 

Both spouses must file a certified copy of their marriage certificate, a separation agreement, in addition to a Joint Petition for Divorce form, known as CJD-101A. The CJD-101A must be signed by both spouses, as well as their lawyers if they have one. Couples who have children under the age of 18 must also complete the Affidavit disclosing care of custody proceeding (OCAJ-1 TRC IV), in addition to the Child Support Guidelines worksheet (CJD-304). 

In limited situations, it may be necessary that a party unable to pay fees file an Affidavit of Indigency. Should one spouse believe that  child support guidelines should not apply in their particular case, then they can file the CJD 305, or the Findings and Determinations for Child Support and Post-Secondary Education

#4 – File the Paperwork and Pay the Fees 

When filing a 1A divorce, the divorce filing fee is $200, while the divorce filing surcharge is $15. The 1A divorce can be filed via the mail, through eFileMA, or through the assistance of your attorney. The paperwork should be filed in the county where you and your spouse lived together, so long as one or both of you still reside in that county. Otherwise, you and your spouse will apply in the county that you presently live in. 

#5 – Attend a Hearing

Once you have filed all the necessary paperwork, the court will set a hearing date and send notice to both spouses in the mail. It is required that both spouses attend the hearing, unless the court has issued a waiver for one of the spouses, which is only possible if the spouse had filed a waiver prior to the hearing.

At the hearing, the judge presiding may ask questions about the affidavit or the separation agreement. The judge will review the evidence available to determine whether the marriage has in fact broken down, and truly cannot continue. If the judge accepts the separation agreement a judgment will be entered. A judgment nisi enters automatically 30 days after, and 90 days following that date the ruling is final, which means that divorce becomes final 120 days after the judgment date. 

Our Westborough Uncontested Divorce Attorneys are Here to Craft Your Peaceful Ending

While an uncontested divorce can proceed smoothly, to do so there must be effective preparation and consideration to ensure that all essential factors are taken into account. When you have a knowledgeable and dedicated team of Westborough uncontested divorce attorneys by your side throughout the process, the level of stress and uncertainty that you experience drops markedly. To learn how we can help, reach out to O’Connor Family Law today