Do I need an attorney?

You do not have to hire an attorney for your case. However, if you do not, you are expected to know the procedure and law in the Court and are held to the decisions that you make in settlement. It is important for you to understand that you and your spouse cannot use one attorney to represent you both in the divorce because even if you are in agreement, you have conflicting interests.

What is a “no fault” divorce?

A no fault divorce simply means that the divorce is taking place because of “irreconcilable differences.” That does not mean that the parties agree on how to resolve all of the issues (ie custody, support, etc.). It simply means that they are unable to reconcile and/or work out the issues within the marriage.

What is a divorce based on grounds of “fault?”

In Massachusetts, you can file for divorce based on fault grounds such as adultery, cruel and abusive treatment, desertion, etc. Filing a fault based divorce requires that you prove the grounds alleged. Typically, it does not give you any advantage over your spouse and thus, is not recommended.

I have heard there is a “financial restraining order” that enters upon the filing of a Complaint for Divorce. Does this mean that all my bank accounts will be frozen?

Once the divorce is filed, both parties are subject to an order b y the Court and are mot permitted to spend, liquidate, transfer, sell or hide assets. The order does not actually freeze anything but if either party were to violate the order, the Court may impose sanctions and/or return the asset to the opposing party. This order also mandates that there be no changes to health insurance and life insurance.