Massachusetts Agencies

Divorce Nisi: Effect


A decree nisi does not terminate the relation of husband and wife between the parties to the proceedings. Ross v. Ross, 385 Mass. 30, 430 N.E.2d 813 (1982). Where the decree has not yet become absolute, the surviving spouse is entitled to statutory rights in the estate of the deceased spouse. See Rollins v. Gould, 244 Mass. 270, 138 N.E. 815 (1923) and Diggs v. Diggs, 291 Mass. 399, 196 N.E. 858 (1935).[1]

1 The decision in Diggs was superseded by statute and rule as stated in Karp v. Amendola, 28 Mass.App.Ct. 929, 549 N.E.2d 549 (1990), but only with respect to the question of entering a decree absolute nunc pro tunc upon a petition so to do.