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What are the Residency and Filing Requirements for Divorce in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, a court will hear a divorce case if one of the following is satisfied: (1) the plaintiff has lived in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for at least one year and the cause of the divorce occurred outside Massachusetts; or (2) the plaintiff lives in the Commonwealth at the time he or she files for divorce and the cause of the divorce occurred in Massachusetts. A court may refuse jurisdiction if it determines that the plaintiff moved to Massachusetts for the purpose of obtaining a divorce. (Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 208 Section 5) Divorce actions should be filed in the Family and Probate division of the Massachusetts Trial Court.

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