What is the Quickest Divorce Option in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, the quickest divorce option is an uncontested divorce. This process is expedited when both spouses can reach an agreement on key terms like:

  • property division,
  • spousal support,
  • child custody, and
  • child support.

With minimal disputes, uncontested divorces typically move swiftly through the legal system, resulting in a quicker resolution and reduced legal expenses compared to contested divorces, which can be more time-consuming and costly due to disputes and court proceedings. Therefore, if you and your spouse can work together to agree on these important issues, an uncontested divorce is your quickest and cost-effective path to legally ending your marriage in Massachusetts.

Understanding Your Options

If you’ve found your way here, it’s likely that you’re facing the challenging prospect of divorce in Massachusetts. Divorce can be complicated, but understanding your options can make it easier. In Massachusetts, you have several paths to choose from:

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is often the quickest and most cost-effective option. It occurs when both spouses agree on all the terms of the divorce, including property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support. If you and your spouse are on amicable terms and can cooperate, this may be the ideal path for you.

Uncontested divorces offer various advantages. They are typically faster because there’s no need for lengthy court battles. Additionally, they tend to be less expensive since there’s less legal work involved. However, it’s essential to meet certain requirements for an uncontested divorce, such as living separately for a specified period.

Contested Divorce

On the flip side, a contested divorce occurs when spouses cannot agree on one or more key issues. These disagreements can significantly prolong the divorce process and increase costs. Common contested issues include:

  • property division,
  • alimony, and
  • child custody.

Contested divorces can be emotionally draining and financially burdensome. The timeline can be unpredictable, as it depends on the complexity of the issues and the willingness of both parties to negotiate. In such cases, it’s crucial to protect your legal rights.


Mediation is an alternative to traditional litigation, where a neutral third party, the mediator, facilitates communication and negotiation between you and your spouse. Mediation is a less adversarial process that encourages compromise and can lead to a quicker resolution.

Mediation offers several benefits, including:

  • reduced conflict,
  • lower costs, and
  • a faster resolution.

It allows couples to maintain more control over the outcome, which can be particularly advantageous when it comes to child custody and visitation agreements. Massachusetts courts often encourage mediation as a way to expedite divorce proceedings.

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is another option that promotes cooperation and communication. Each spouse has their attorney, but they commit to resolving issues outside of court through negotiation. If an agreement isn’t reached, the collaborative attorneys withdraw, and litigation may become necessary.

Collaborative divorce is quicker than traditional litigation but more structured than mediation. It encourages open dialogue and problem-solving, making it a good choice for couples who want to minimize conflict while seeking a faster resolution.

The Quickest Option:
Uncontested Divorce

Now that we’ve explored your options let’s dive deeper into the quickest divorce option in Massachusetts: uncontested divorce.

An uncontested divorce is often the fastest route to ending your marriage. It’s streamlined because both parties are in agreement on the essential terms. Here’s a breakdown of the process:

  1. Negotiating Terms: The first step is to sit down with your spouse and negotiate all the terms of your divorce. This includes:
  • property division,
  • spousal support,
  • child custody, and
  • child support.

Remember, the more you can agree on, the smoother and quicker the process will be.

  1. Preparing the Agreement: Once you’ve reached an agreement, your attorney will draft a comprehensive Separation Agreement that outlines all the terms. This document will be submitted to the court.
  2. Filing for Divorce: To initiate the uncontested divorce process, you will both file a Joint Complaint for Divorce, along with all the other necessary paperwork, with the court.
  3. Court Review: After filing, the court will review your agreement and ensure it meets the legal requirements. If everything is in order, the court will schedule a hearing.
  4. Hearing: At your hearing, the judge will review your documents, ask you both several questions to make sure you understand your obligations and that you both believe this is a fair arrangement.
  5. Judgment Nisi: If all goes well at the hearing, the Court will issue a Judgment Nisi. This is a court order that will be in place during the 120 day waiting period.
  6. Final Judgment: After 120 days, if no new issues arise, your divorce is final.

Factors to Consider

While uncontested divorce is often the quickest option, it may not be suitable for everyone. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Unique Circumstances: Your situation may be more complex, requiring a different approach. For example, if you suspect hidden assets or have concerns about child custody, a contested divorce may be necessary.
  2. The Importance of Legal Counsel: Even in an uncontested divorce, having an attorney is essential. They can ensure that your agreement is fair and legally sound, preventing future disputes.
  3. Financial Implications: Be aware of the financial implications of divorce, including property division, alimony, and child support. Understanding your financial situation is crucial.
  4. Child Custody and Support Matters: If you have children, their well-being is a top priority. Ensure that any custody and support agreements are in their best interests.

Affordable Massachusetts Divorce Attorneys

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.


In conclusion, the quickest divorce option in Massachusetts often involves pursuing an uncontested divorce when both parties can agree on the essential terms. However, every situation is unique, and it’s essential to consult with an experienced attorney to determine the best approach for your case. Our goal is to provide experienced legal help you can afford. If you’re ready to take the next steps, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Additional Resources

For more information and resources related to divorce in Massachusetts, please visit the Massachusetts Court System and the Massachusetts Bar Association. You can also explore our blog for additional articles on divorce-related topics.

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.

More To Explore