Can I get a divorce if I’ve married for less than a year?

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Can I get a divorce if I’ve married for less than a year?

I am in a horrible marriage and would like a divorce. We have been married for a little over 6 months. A lot of what I see online states that I must remain married to this individual for 1 year before I can file for divorce. Is this correct? I would really not like to have to spend the next 6 months with this person and this is one of the main things keeping me from being able to move out. Additionally, would we need to file a separation agreement? We live in an apartment, have no shared financial accounts and no children.

Asked on April 18, 2019 under Family Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You have to wait a year if the grounds, or reason, for the divorce occured outside Massachusetts--that is, you need to be in MA for at least a year if the reason you are divorcing occurred elsewhere (this is to make sure people don't come to MA just to get a divorce). But if the reason for the divorce occured in MA, you don't have to wait.
You can get a divorce without any "fault" or bad behavior, just because the marriage has "irretrievably broken down" (does not work and will not work), but in that case, it takes at least 6 months (generally longer) after you file the divorce case to get a hearing or trial date--it's the slower track to divorce. If you file for "fault"-based divorce (e.g. your spouse refusing to support you; your spouse committing adultry; drug use or alcoholism; cruel and abusive behavior), you may be able to get a hearing in several weeks.


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