Massachusetts Grounds for Divorce

The Complaint for Divorce or Petition for Divorce are the initial documents filed with the Massachusetts court. It is in this document that the filing spouse will request the court to terminate the marriage under certain specified grounds.

A divorce from the bond of matrimony may be adjudged for the following:

No Fault Based Grounds:
Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

Fault Based Grounds:
Adultery, impotency, desertion continued for 1 year next prior to the filing of the complaint, habitual drunkenness, drug addiction, cruel and abusive treatment, or, if a spouse being of sufficient ability, grossly or wantonly and cruelly refuses or neglects to provide suitable support and maintenance for the other spouse. (Massachusetts General Laws - Chapter 208 - Sections: 1, 1A, 1B and 2)

Every divorce case that is filed in the state of Massachusetts must declare the grounds in which the divorce is to be granted. The grounds for divorce must be substantiated with evidence or testimony otherwise the court may dismiss the case. When you are petitioning the court for a divorce, or agreeing to a divorce, make sure that you completely understand the grounds and any potential legal repercussions. If you would like to learn more about the Massachusetts grounds, visit the Massachusetts state statutes located at: