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What are the residency requirements for getting a divorce?

If you and your spouse were married in Massachusetts, never moved out of state and now want a divorce, it is pretty obvious that you should file for divorce in Massachusetts. However, this is not the case for many people. Instead, life is unpredictable, and people relocate between states all the time. How, then, do you determine where you should file for divorce?

According to Massachusetts law, if you and your spouse lived together in Massachusetts and the cause for your divorce happened in Massachusetts, you can get a divorce in Massachusetts. If, however, the cause happened in another state, but you and your spouse lived together in Massachusetts before the cause occurred and one of you lived in Massachusetts at the time that it occurred, then you can still get a divorce in Massachusetts.

This means that in general, if you and your spouse never lived together in Massachusetts, you cannot get a divorce in Massachusetts. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

If the cause for divorce occurred in another state, but you have domiciled in Massachusetts for at least one year, then you can file for divorce in Massachusetts. If the cause for the divorce occurred in Massachusetts, you are not required to have domiciled in the state for a year before filing for divorce, as long as you are domiciled at the time you file.

These exceptions both hinge on you being domiciled in Massachusetts. This means you live in Massachusetts with the intention of it being your permanent home.

Every divorcing couple’s situation is different, and the residency requirements for divorce in Massachusetts can be confusing. To save yourself headaches, be sure you fully understand the requirements before you file for divorce.

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