What is a Non Support Divorce in Massachusetts?

Mother and child at shelter due to non-support

In Massachusetts, a “non support divorce” may refer to a fault-based divorce where one spouse can claim “non-support” as the ground for divorce. This means one spouse claims that the other has failed to provide financial support during the marriage​​.

Understanding Non-Support Divorce
in Massachusetts

In the spectrum of divorce, non-support is a specific fault-based ground that can be filed in Massachusetts. It implies that one spouse has not met the legal obligation to financially support the other. While the common route in Massachusetts is a no-fault divorce, citing an “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage,” non-support divorces are leveraged in situations where financial abandonment has been a significant issue. It’s a serious allegation that necessitates a solid backing of evidence.

The Process of Filing for a
Divorce in Massachusetts

Filing for a non-support divorce starts with a formal complaint to the court. This document is a critical first step and sets the tone for your case. It should detail the circumstances of the non-support, backed by evidence such as bank statements, emails, or other communication records. Additionally, you’ll need to serve these papers to your spouse, providing them with a fair chance to respond. Throughout this process, clarity and accuracy are paramount—each form, each document serves as a building block for your case.

Challenges and Considerations

This path is not without its challenges. The burden of proof lies with you—the plaintiff—to establish that non-support has indeed occurred. This may involve presenting detailed financial records and other intimate details of your marital life to the court. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that proving non-support will result in a more favorable financial outcome. Therefore, the decision to file under this ground should be weighed against the potential for prolonged litigation and associated costs.

Why Most Choose No-Fault Divorce
in Massachusetts

Given the complexities involved in proving fault, many opt for a no-fault divorce, which avoids assigning blame and typically leads to a more amicable resolution. This path can minimize conflict and often expedites the legal process, allowing both parties to move forward more swiftly. It’s essential to consider the emotional and financial toll of your divorce strategy and aim for the path that aligns with your long-term well-being.

Affordable Massachusetts Divorce Solutions

An affordable divorce is possible. At Afford Law, our fees are based on your income, so the less you earn, the less you pay. Our mission is to provide experienced legal help you can afford.

If you can’t afford our lower rates for a traditional attorney-client relationship, you have another option. Our legal coaching service can save you money and still give you access to a skilled attorney. In this arrangement, you represent yourself in court while we work with you behind the scenes to prepare you every step of the way. This service is available to you for one low monthly fee.


Deciding to file for a non-support divorce is a strategic choice that should be made with a clear understanding of the legal landscape and personal consequences. With the right preparation and legal counsel, you can navigate this process effectively. Remember, you’re not just closing a chapter but also laying the groundwork for your future.

Legal Disclaimer

This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult with an attorney to discuss your specific circumstances and receive tailored guidance.

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