WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.
Important: Even if courts are closed, you can still file for a protection order and other emergency relief. See our FAQ on Courts and COVID-19.
Legal Information: Massachusetts
Updated: December 11, 2019
§ 22. Libels for divorce; desertion; proof
In order to establish grounds for divorce for desertion, the plaintiff shall establish that the defendant left voluntarily and without justification and with intent not to return, that at the time such defendant left, the plaintiff did not consent thereto, and that the defendant failed to cohabit with the plaintiff for at least one year next prior to the date of the filing of the action. An action for divorce for desertion shall not be defeated by a temporary return or other act of the defendant if the court finds that such return or other act was not made or done in good faith, but with intent to defeat such action. The prior filing of an action for divorce or separate support shall not be deemed to raise a conclusive presumption to defeat an action for divorce for desertion.
© 2008–2020 WomensLaw.org is a project of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, Inc. All rights reserved. This website is funded in part through a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this website (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided). NNEDV is a 501©(3) non-profit organization; EIN 52-1973408.