Complying with MA Supplemental Probate & Family Court Rule 410

I Filed for Divorce, Now What? Complying with Massachusetts Supplemental Probate and Family Court Rule 410

Often times, the decision of whether or not to file for divorce is a tough one. Once you file and the complaint and summons are served on your spouse, you may feel a sense of relief but also a feeling of panic: what do I do next?

According to Massachusetts Supplemental Probate and Family Court Rule 410, parties to a divorce action must exchange copies of certain documents within forty-five (45) days of the service of the summons. Specifically, you must provide copies of the following:

  1. Federal and state tax returns for the past three (3) years with supporting documentation;
  2. Four (4) most recent pay stubs;
  3. Documentation regarding the cost and nature of available health insurance coverage;
  4. Statements for the past three (3) years from any and all bank accounts held in your name either individually or jointly;
  5. Statements for the past three (3) years for any and all securities, stocks, bonds, notes/obligations, CDs, 401Ks, IRAs, and pension plans you have;
  6. Loan or mortgage applications made, prepared or submitted by you within the last three (3) years; and
  7. Financial statements prepared by you within the last three (3) years.

You may already have these documents or be able to access them online. For example, if you have online banking, you can access previous account statements. If you do not have the documents but can request them, you will need to do so. If the documents do not exist or you cannot access them, you will need to say so in writing signed under the penalties of perjury. It is crucial to provide these documents to the other party under Rule 410 because you cannot file discovery-related motions until you do. Once you have provided these documents, you will be considered to have complied with Rule 410; however, beware that if a material change occurs during the course of your case, such as you get a new job, you will be required to supplement these documents accordingly.

If you are already overwhelmed by the divorce process or just need some questions answered about what to do next, contact a Massachusetts divorce attorney today.