What are the Residency and Filing Requirements for Divorce in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, a court will hear a divorce case if one of the following is satisfied: (1) the plaintiff has lived in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for at least one year and the cause of the divorce occurred outside Massachusetts; or (2) the plaintiff lives in the Commonwealth at the time he or she files for divorce and the cause of the divorce occurred in Massachusetts. A court may refuse jurisdiction if it determines that the plaintiff moved to Massachusetts for the purpose of obtaining a divorce. (Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 208 Section 5) Divorce actions should be filed in the Family and Probate division of the Massachusetts Trial Court.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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