The divorce process can oftentimes prove to be a long and drawn out process especially when it is filed as a contested divorce under Massachusetts’ contested divorce statute. Delay in the process is common when there are highly contested issues regarding child custody, child support, alimony, and/or division of the marital assets etc. When parties cannot come to an agreement on these issues, the process is set on track by the court and can sometimes take longer than a year or more to resolve as there are typically multiple court hearings that parties must attend as well as extensive discovery procedures that must be completed prior to trial.
On the other hand, finalizing a divorce is usually much timelier and more cost efficient when filed under Massachusetts’ uncontested divorce statute. The reason for a more time efficient result is because it is much easier to schedule an uncontested hearing as all of the other required formalities are usually completed prior to or simultaneous with filing of the uncontested petition. Thus, an uncontested divorce can oftentimes be finalized in just a few months of filing for divorce.
A non-biological, non-adoptive parent who has acted in a parental role may be considered a de facto parent. As defined by the Massachusetts courts, a de facto parent is “one who has no biological relation to the child but has participated in the child’s life as a member of the child’s family. The de facto