These days in this "so-called" 21st century, a majority of marriages are ending in divorce. And why do you ask? Could it be the fast-paced world we are living in, coupled with the fact there is a lack on balance between work and personal family time. These answers could vary, but it seems like the main culprit in this situation is once a marriage has run it's course, both parties continue to hold on to something that just no longer exists as the next step can be summed up in two words: "Move On".

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In the state of Massachusetts, there are two types of divorce within the law books: This information is stated on chapter 208, Sections 1-A and 1-B of the Bay State general law: Option number one is uncontested where both parties are in agreement declaring the marital relationship is forever broken, therefor citing "irreconcilable differences". Two steps are taken afterwards to avoid further complications as Section 1-A mandates a joint petition to acknowledge the matter followed by a separation agreement between both parties.  Section 1-B is implemented six months after the initial filing, followed by a detailed written agreement on all issues that made the marriage fail. Over 95% of these couples have gone through this step to maneuver "a clean break and fresh start" towards the next chapter of their lives.

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Option number two is of the contested variety which is more detailed and could result in a trial by courtroom if the matter can not be solved as some couples want to create a "painful" atmosphere to the other party in question. Keep in mind that every Massachusetts resident that files for divorce has a right to enter "no fault" status, but sometimes that is simply not the case.

To file for this process on a "fault" basis, the following criteria must be established: Adultery: According to Section 208, chapter 34 "the conduct of both parties during the marriage" is a factor to determine alimony and division of property plus proof is required where one spouse has an affair with a third party". You can obtain this courtesy of a private investigator, admission from the so-called guilty party and the 3rd party could also be issued a subpoena to testify.

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Cruel and abusive treatment is a major component in establishing grounds for divorce which is defined as "the intentional and malicious infliction of physical and mental suffering on another person" as the abused party can sue under a "tort" law which seeks compensation from damages that were instilled in the abusive union.

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Failure to provide suitable support in translation: This practice can be filed when "a spouse being of sufficient ability, grossly or wantonly and cruelly neglects to provide support and maintenance in the marriage".

Utter Desertion; This option has been in existence since 1838. According to chapter 208, section 22, these parameters must be observed including one party leaving voluntarily or without any justification (also known as abandonment), no intention of returning and the said defendant did not cohabitate with the plaintiff for at least one year prior to filing this action.

Confinement For A Crime: Chapter 208, section 2 states any party sentenced to 5 or more years of incarceration gives the other party power to petition for divorce.

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Impotency and Intoxication are also main factors where one party has the opportunity to begin proceedings in dissolving a troubled marriage. A footnote: the subject of impotency is not greatly used in these proceedings, however being inebriated indicates a major red flag as alcoholic abuse can lead to more complications in an already broken-down union.

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Marriage counseling is the key option in trying to rectify home life problems. Better yet, both parties should be instrumental in establishing a viable form of communication as they must acknowledge there is an existing problem as steps must be taken to rectify the matter in question. If neither of these suggestions apply, then there is no choice but file for divorce, which should be the last step in dissolving a marriage. Exercise your options and don't make a move that you'll regret in the long run. It CAN be worked out!

(Some information that was obtained in this article, courtesy of the web site www.massdivorceattorney.net)

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