This article was last updated: Nov. 1st, 2022
Uncontested Divorce Hearing
There are two types of divorce in Massachusetts: contested and uncontested. These two types of divorce are handled very differently. You do not need to litigate an uncontested divorce in court, but you will still need to attend an uncontested divorce hearing. This is your final divorce hearing wherein the Probate and Family Court judge will review your agreement and enter your divorce judgment. In most cases, you will not need to attend another hearing for your divorce to be finalized.
Uncontested divorces are typically simpler than contested divorces. In an uncontested divorce, the couple has declared the grounds for the divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and agrees on all issues. If you have an uncontested divorce, you can create a separation agreement with your spouse and submit it, along with the necessary divorce papers, to the Probate and Family Court. These papers will be reviewed at your uncontested divorce hearing.
What Happens at a Divorce Hearing?
The judge is not making any decisions for you at your uncontested divorce hearing. Instead, he or she will review your agreement and may ask you and your spouse some questions about it. Typically, both spouses will need to attend the hearing. You may be able to have your appearance waived in certain circumstances. If the judge accepts your agreement at the hearing, your job is done. Your divorce judgment will be entered, and your divorce will finalize automatically after the divorce nisi period. You can then request a copy of your final divorce decree from the Court. You may need to return to court for another hearing later on if you want to modify any part of your judgment.
Speak with an experienced Massachusetts divorce mediator if you have any questions about how to handle your uncontested divorce. Agreeing on all issues is quite an accomplishment. Many couples cannot reach this point. You will still need to have your agreement accepted by a judge for your divorce to be finalized. Working with a skilled divorce mediator can ensure you are prepared for the hearing and can submit an agreement that is reasonable and fair.
If you have questions about mediating an uncontested divorce, contact The Law Office of Polly Tatum for expert help. Experienced in divorce mediation, Law Office of Polly Tatum can help you amicably mediate your divorce, saving you money and accelerating your peace of mind. Based in historic Worcester with a satellite office in Northboro, MA, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free e-book for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.