Who Usually Initiates Divorce in Massachusetts?

Wife filing for divorce in Massachusetts.

In Massachusetts, it is reported that women initiate divorce much more often than men. According to research cited by Psychology Today, almost 70% of divorces are initiated by women. This is consistent with national trends where women more frequently initiate divorce proceedings compared to men. A variety of factors may influence this, including societal expectations, division of household labor, and personal fulfillment​.

Why Women Initiate Divorce More Often

Understanding the Trend

Research indicates that women initiate divorce much more often than men. This could be due to a multitude of factors, such as seeking an escape from unequal domestic responsibilities or the desire for personal growth that feels stifled within the marriage. It’s important to recognize these dynamics as they can impact the emotional tone of the divorce process.

Reflecting Societal Changes

Our society has evolved, and with it, the roles within a marriage. Women today may have different expectations for equality and fulfillment, both personally and professionally. When these expectations are not met, they may see divorce as a pathway to a more balanced and satisfying life.

No-Fault Versus Fault-Based

In Massachusetts, a divorce can be filed under the terms of ‘no-fault’ or ‘fault-based’. A no-fault divorce, where ‘irretrievable breakdown of marriage’ is the reason, is most common and typically less contentious. Fault-based divorces, on the other hand, require proof of wrongdoing, such as adultery or abandonment.

Choosing Your Grounds

Deciding on the grounds for your divorce is a pivotal first step. No-fault divorces are more straightforward and generally advantageous. The vast majority of Massachusetts divorces are no-fault divorces. They eliminate the need to prove that your spouse did something wrong that caused the divorce. If your spouse did something bad during the marriage, that may still come into play in a no-fault divorce, so their behavior is not irrelevant.

The Divorce Process

Filing the Paperwork

The divorce process begins with filing a petition for divorce. This document outlines your wishes regarding:

  • asset division,
  • child custody, and
  • other pertinent matters.

 Once filed, your spouse will be served with divorce papers and given a chance to respond.

Understanding the court system and what paperwork to file can be confusing. That’s why it’s crucial to have a knowledgeable attorney to guide you through motions, hearings, and the myriad of legal documents.

Financial Considerations and Asset Division

Protecting Your Financial Future

A major concern in any divorce is finances. In Massachusetts, the division of assets follows the rule of equitable distribution, which doesn’t always mean equal. We’ll help you understand what assets are subject to division and how to advocate for a fair distribution.

Alimony and Child Support

Determining financial support is another critical aspect. Whether you’re entitled to receive alimony, or need to provide support, understanding the guidelines and calculations for alimony and child support is essential for planning your post-divorce finances.

Coping with the Emotional Impact of Divorce

Emotional Support Networks

It’s not just the legalities that are challenging; the emotional journey through divorce is significant. Building a support network, including:

  • therapists,
  • support groups, and
  • understanding friends,

is key to maintaining your well-being.

Self-Care Strategies

Taking care of yourself is not a luxury but a necessity during this time. Engaging in:

  • self-care practices,
  • setting boundaries, and
  • allowing yourself time to grieve and heal

are all part of a healthy transition out of marriage.

Affordable Massachusetts Divorce

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.


Though the decision to end a marriage is never taken lightly, it is sometimes the healthiest choice for all involved. As your attorneys, we’re here to not only provide legal counsel but to support and empower you as you move forward to the next chapter of your life with confidence.

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