There are two types of divorce in Massachusetts – “fault divorce” and “no fault divorce.” In a “no fault” divorce the parties only have to prove that their marriage has irretrievably broken down and that the parties have irreconcilable differences. “Fault” divorces are very rare. There are seven grounds for a fault divorce in Massachusetts.
In order to proceed on the basis of “fault” the Plaintiff must prove one of the seven grounds for divorce, or in other words, that the defendant committed a wrong that allows the plaintiff to be granted a divorce. The defendant can offer a defense and if successful, a divorce is not granted. In a “no fault” divorce, it is not necessary to prove anything beyond that the marriage has suffered an irretrievable breakdown.