Milton, MA asked in Divorce for Massachusetts

Q: What happens directly after serving my spouse with divorce papers? Like the next step.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Joshua H Bearce
Joshua H Bearce
Answered
  • Manchester, NH
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: This depends upon the circumstances of the case. If there are issues which require immediate resolution, the parties often exchange their Rule 410 mandatory disclosures, and attend what is called a temporary hearing to establish the orders which will be in place during the divorce. These can be orders relative to the payment of household expenses, child support, parenting time, etc. Rule 410 mandatory disclosures consist of tax returns, bank statements, etc. I suggest you speak with an attorney who specializes in divorce and/or family law to discuss your options further. Good luck.

Meghan L Howard
Meghan L Howard
Answered
  • Foxboro, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: You must file the Return of Service with the Court (some constables may do this for you if you do not have an attorney). She then has 20 days to file her Answer. A "Case Management Conference" will be set where you meet with the clerk or the judge (depending on county) and decide whether any court offered services will be needed and when you will each exchange discovery (financial documents mostly) with each other. A Pre-Trial Conference will then be scheduled and you should make every effort to resolve the matter prior to the Pre-Trial Conference. If no resolution is reached, you shall both prepare a Pre-Trial Memorandum (the Pre-Trial Notice will explain what needs to be addressed in the memorandum) and appear before the Judge assigned to your case. If you still cannot reach a resolution, a trial shall be scheduled on the remaining issues.

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