In Massachusetts, you can file for divorce due to an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage (no-fault) or by proving fault of the other party. If both parties come to an agreement (on the various divorce related issues such as: child custody, support, visitation, alimony, and division of assets and debts), you can file a joint petition for divorce due to the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Both parties must then appear in court for a brief hearing where a Judge determines if the agreement is fair. If the parties are unable to come to an agreement or if one party is unavailable, the other party may still file for divorce on the grounds of an irretrievable breakdown. The court will hold a hearing and enter orders regarding both parties.
Chapter 208: Section 1. General provisions, lists all of the grounds for divorce in Massachusetts:
Section 1. A divorce from the bond of matrimony may be adjudged for:
After the divorce hearing, the Judge enters a Judgment of Divorce Nisi which becomes final in 90 days. Neither party may remarry until the end of the 90 day nisi period. The court order can include spousal support, child custody, child support, and visitation, and a division of property assets and debts.
In Massachusetts there are three methods for annulment of "void marriages":
On the other hand "voidable" marriages occur when:
WAITING PERIODS FOR NO-FAULT DIVORCE
For a voluntary separation, you must have been voluntarily separated for at least 18 months without cohabitation (without a single night under the same roof and without any sexual intercourse) before you can file for an absolute divorce.
Also, if your spouse has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor with a sentence of at least three years or an unspecified sentence in a penal institution, and has served 18 months of that sentence, you can then file for absolute divorce. In an 18-month separation, before filing for absolute divorce, you and your spouse must have lived separate and apart, without cohabitation for two years without interruption. Finally, if your spouse has been confined to a mental institute, hospital or other similar institution for at least 24 consecutive months, you can then file for an absolute divorce, provided you have met the residency required for this particular ground.