Massachusetts Divorce

A Massachusetts divorce involves unique procedures and forms. An experienced Massachusetts divorce attorney can help guide you through the process. In the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court, all parties must go through a preliminary agreement process, which involves the settling of any difficulties or issues that the couple may have prior to their divorce being granted a hearing date. A divorcing couple must attempt to reach agreements on the equitable division of property, child custody, child support, spousal support if applicable, financial issues, and any other areas of contention.

If a divorcing couple is unable to reach a mutually agreeable decision during the preliminary settlement period, a formal hearing is scheduled and the lengthy trial process will begin.

Ninety-five percent of couples divorcing in Massachusetts settle their cases and move into the process of filing papers to finalize the divorce. For the five percent of couples who cannot reach an agreement, the road to resolution can be long and difficult.

The added stress and financial burden for a family, especially those with small children, cannot be underestimated. Any divorce proceeding will be a very difficult time for family members. Having an experienced, understanding Massachusetts divorce lawyer to help you through the process will allow you to focus on recovering from the experience, and moving forward with your life.

Contact Massachusetts divorce lawyer Rui P. Alves for a free initial consultation at 401.273.7171 or Attorney Alves is a native of Portugal and is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish. He represents clients throughout eastern and southeastern Massachusetts.

The following issues could arise during a divorce:


Custody: Who will make major decisions regarding the health, welfare, religion and schooling of the children?

Placement: Who will the children live with more than 50 percent of the time?

Visitation: If one parent is awarded physical custody, what is the visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent?

Child Support: How much will the non-custodial parent have to pay to the custodial parent?


As with other aspects of a divorce settlement, determining whether alimony is appropriate and calculating alimony payments can be confusing. It is in your best interest to hire a Massachusetts divorce attorney experienced in dealing with alimony as part of a divorce agreement.

Property Division

When a couple has been married for any length of time, it is likely that they have shared assets. Marital assets need to be valued and divided in a fair and equitable manner under Massachusetts law. This does not necessarily mean an equal split of assets. The length of a marriage and a party’s contributions to the marriage are some of the important factors a Massachusetts Family Court judge will consider.