DIVORCE IN MASSACHUSETTS
Updated: Feb 23, 2021
There are several documents you will need in order to file for a divorce in Massachusetts. A certified copy of your marriage certificate is required for filing a Joint Petition for Divorce or a Complaint for Divorce in Massachusetts. You can obtain your Massachusetts marriage certificate from the town hall of the town/city you were married or resided in at the time of your marriage. The following is a link for more information: https://www.mass.gov/ordering-a-birth-marriage-or-death-certificate
You marriage certificate should have a raised seal (signifying it is a certified copy of the original which will always remain with the town/city in which you were married). There will be a small fee. Your church certificate will not be accepted by the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court. Marriage certificates in languages other than English will have to be translated for the court before filing any pleadings.
Resuming your Maiden Name:
I am often asked, "Can I resume my maiden name after a divorce in Massachusetts?" Yes and it is very easy to resume your maiden name through Massachusetts divorce mediation. You can request to resume your maiden name on the Complaint for Divorce or Joint Petition for Divorce at the time you file with the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court. It does not cost any extra money to request to resume your maiden name.
Your request to resume your maiden name can be arranged through your divorce mediator. After your divorce hearing, you will receive documentation from the court that you can take to the Social Security Administration, Registry of Motors Vehicles and financial institutions to change your account information to your new legal name.