If You Plan to Separate or Divorce in January…


If You Plan to Separate or Divorce in January...

The holiday season can be a wonderful time of year. For others, however, it is a very stressful or sometimes depressing time of the year.  Any major differences between a married couple is often magnified during the holiday season. After what could possibly have been many months or even years, you and your spouse may have decided to have “one last holiday” with the children before filing for divorce in the New Year.  Here are some things to consider if you plan on moving forward with the divorce process.

The Common Reasons for Divorce

 Married couples decide to divorce for one or many reasons, which may include realizing you got married for the wrong reasons (such as sex, money, convenience, etc.) or simply falling out of love.  Other reasons may include, , infidelity, financial pressures, lack of intimacy, too much stress, no longer feeling “connected” to each other, etc.Regardless of the reason for divorce, you want to make sure you move forward with the process with the help of a professional to guide you.

1.  Filing for Divorce

One or more spouses may want to file for divorce.  Even if you both agree with wanting to file for divorce, only one spouse needs to file the initial paperwork/Complaint for Divorce.  Typically that person would already have a family law firm involved so that the proper procedure is followed when you file for divorce. There are some instances when parties can file jointly, however, in order to do that you would need to have a full agreement on every aspect of the divorce (i.e. custody, alimony, child support, health insurance, division of assets, division of debt, etc).

2.  Filing for Temporary Orders

After the divorce is filed, you may also decide to file for temporary orders, such as for child support and / or child custody.  These temporary orders will remain in full effect until the divorce is finalized in court.

3.  Serving the Papers

When filing for divorce, the court requires that you serve the papers to your spouse.  A family law attorney can explain the proper method of serving papers as proof that your spouse was served. In Massachusetts, your spouse can accept service or be served with a sheriff or constable. Service must be “in hand.”

4.  Negotiating Terms

This is the part of the divorce process that can tend to be the most stressful part of the divorce process.  This is when you define terms such as who gets the house, child custody, visitation, spousal support, etc.  Each divorce may require specific needs of one or both parties.  A family law firm assists with this critical step.

5.  Dissolution of the Marriage

Once negotiations are complete, the parties will enter into a Separation Agreement and present it to the court to finalize their divorce. If no agreement is reached, the matter would proceed to trial.

If you are considering filing for divorce after the holiday season, please do not hesitate to contact the law office of Patricia S. Fernandez Family Law by email info@patfernandez.com or call us at (978) 681-5454.

About the Firm

Patricia S. Fernandez Family Law, based in North Andover, Massachusetts, not only serves North Andover, MA, but also Andover, MA, Methuen, MA, Boxford, MA, and West Boxford, MA and surrounding areas, including Southern New Hampshire.  The law firm has consistently been recognized as a “Best Law Firm” from in US. News & World Report.  If you are considering divorce, or have other family law-related concerns such as child custody, mediation / arbitration, modifications, pre-nuptial / post-nuptial, or paternity matters, consider contacting Patricia S. Fernandez Family Law.

For more information and to discuss your situation with an experienced family law / divorce attorney in North Andover, MA, please visit our website.

For a family law and divorce consultation serving Andover, MA, 
contact us at Patricia S. Fernandez Family Law

(978) 681-5454 info@patfernandez.com

In accordance with rules established by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, this web site and/or web page must be labeled "advertising." It is designed to provide general information for clients and friends of the firm and should not be construed as legal advice, or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. This web site and/or web page is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.


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