A judgement of divorce is rendered when a divorce is settled. However, divorces are not completed at this stage. There is a mandatory 90-day MA divorce waiting period. This is referred to as the Nisi period. Here are some important facts on the Nisi period.
Purpose Of The Massachusetts Divorce Waiting Period
The the Nisi period is to allow people an opportunity to change their decision to divorce. Divorces are usually very stressful and sometimes the parties have some clarity in the days after the court appearance. The parties can file a Motion to Dismiss prior to the 90-day period ending. In that case, the divorce is essentially stopped and the parties stay married.
Actual Divorce Date
If no action is taken, the divorce will automatically become final after the 90-day period. Both parties typically receive a letter via mail. In rare circumstances, there can be documentation missing and preventing this from occurring. If nothing is received, either person can obtain the divorce decree from the Probate and Family Court Registrar office in the county where the divorce took place.
Important Notices on the Massachusetts Divorce Waiting Period
Since a divorce is not final until the waiting period has lapsed, it is important to keep in mind a few legal effects. First and foremost, both spouses are still married during the waiting period, so none may remarry during that time. Secondly, tax returns must still be filed as either married filing jointly or married filing separately. A complete calendar year after the final divorce date must pass in order to file as single for that year. Finally, certain privileges, such as health insurance, may still be active during the waiting period. All other matters, such as the sale of real estate, are controlled by the divorce terms and may not always be impacted by the final divorce date.
Guidance on Melrose MA Divorces
For unusual situations related to divorces and the MA divorce waiting period, contact an experienced divorce attorney. Divorce terms always vary. The details above are meant as a preliminary introduction to this matter and must not be construed as legal advice.