Handling All Aspects of Divorce in Massachusetts
Payments must be made by attorney's check, money order, bank certified check or bank cashier's check. All payments should be made out to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. If you would like to continue helping us improve Mass. Massachusetts Court System. Guardianship of Minors. Name Changes.
What you need. How to get. If you're requesting a copy of a court record listed below — Complete the Request for Copies form and mail or bring the form and payment to the courthouse you're requesting a copy of the court record from. This form may not display properly in your browser.
What Are Final Divorce Papers?
Please download the form and open it using Acrobat reader. The first step of the annulment process is for the person petitioning the Tribunal to complete an Application for the the Ecclesiastical Investigation of the Validity of Marriage. This application may be printed from the pdf version on this webpage or may be requested by calling the Tribunal Office at All questions on the application must be completed in detail.
The applicant may use additional paper to complete the questions, if necessary.
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Please note that the court document needed by the Tribunal office is the page of the divorce decree which states that the divorce is "absolute" and gives the date that it became final. A good witness may be a parent, sibling, relative or friend. Both parties have the right to view the testimony of witnesses provided the witnesses sign a waiver permitting them to do so.
The witnesses will be informed of this. Divorces are generally decided in the jurisdiction in which they are filed.
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If you and your husband have already separated and live in different counties or states, or if you spend equal time at homes in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, for example, it is worth your while to check into the legal implications of filing in the different venues legitimately available to you. State laws can be widely different regarding such crucial considerations as child custody customs and division of marital assets.
Your experience and expected outcome might vary widely in different jurisdictions.
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Do your research, and consult with attorneys wherever you might file. You may thwart some dirty tricks your husband could try to pull. In particular, it may save you from falling victim to the trick known as "conflicting out," by which the husband meets for quick consultations with all the best divorce attorneys in the area, thereby rendering them unable to serve the wife because they now have an attorney-client relationship with the husband.
The "first to file" may be the first litigant to present his or her case at trial.
But think carefully before you do as there are pros and cons to presenting first. On one hand, if you're the wronged spouse, you may feel the need to be the first to file for emotional reasons. No one wants to be the 'rejected' spouse.
But on the other hand, you may not want to reveal your strategy to the other side, who can then adjust his or her presentation accordingly. You may find that making the initial legal filing provides the psychological leg-up you sorely need, and that feeling more in control of the process will help you see the divorce through to your best advantage. If a spouse senses trouble in the marriage he or she should immediately meet with an attorney to obtain information about the law and gain practical insight about the process.
After interviewing a qualified domestic relations practitioner, that spouse will have a keener sense of his or her spouse's intentions with respect to the marriage going forward.