Divorce Chapter 2 – English Version.
Divorce Forms Part 1
We are not going to show how to fill out the forms because every State is different. However, the following should help.
Petition or Complaint:
Depending on the State, the name of this document will be either a Petition or a Complaint.
The Petition or a Complaint is where you are asking the court to grant you a divorce.
If it is a Petition and you are the one filing for divorce, then you are the Petitioner, and your spouse is the Respondent.
If it is a Complaint and you are the one filing for Divorce, then you are the Plaintiff, and your spouse is the Defendant.
Some courts have a form for the Petition, and with other courts, you will have to create your own.
This form might ask if you have children. You are only responsible for the biological or adopted children you had together.
If you and your spouse have no biological or adopted children together, then write down
“My spouse and I have no minor children, and none are expected.”
The courts that have a form for the Petition may still require you to create your own Marital Settlement Agreement.
If you have no children, then you will be able to combine the Petition with the Marital Settlement Agreement as one document.
If you already have a child support ORDER, you will be able to combine the Petition with the Marital Settlement Agreement as one document.
This form might also ask if you would like to have your name changed to your maiden name. If the form does not have this question, and you would like to have your name changed, then at the hearing, let the judge know that you want your name changed. Write it in both the Marital Settlement Agreement and in the Judgment / Decree that you want your name changed.
The Petition has to be signed and notarized by you. The court usually requires 3-copies.
After you submit the Petition, the clerk will give you a case number, and this case number should go on all documents related to your Divorce.
This includes the Cover Sheet, the Financial Information sheet, the Summons, the Served by Publication form, the Parenting Plan, the Declaration of Service, the Respond form, the Proof of Service form, and the Marital Settlement Agreement form.
All documents related to your case!!!!!
Financial or Information sheet:
This sheet should list all of the debts and income of both spouses. Some courts will combine this form into the Petition or Marital Settlement Agreement. Other courts do not ask or require a Financial or Information sheet.
Do not put the full account number or your full social security number on any form unless requested by the court. Only put the last four numbers of the account or the last four numbers of your social security number.
Summons or Citation:
Depending on the State, the name of this document will be either a summons or a citation.
The summons is to let your spouse know that you are filing for Divorce, and that they should respond. The summons should have with it a copy of the Petition and a response form.
The best way of serving the summons is to let the sheriff do it. However, the sheriff will charge a fee.
If you cannot afford the fee, then the State has other ways to serve the summons.
You can have someone over the age of 18 serve the summons. It cannot be you.
If you have someone serve the summons, some courts require that your spouse sign an Acceptance of Service form.
After your spouse signs the Acceptance of Service form, you must file this form with the court and do not forget to put on this form your case number. The Acceptance of Service form tells the court that your spouse received the summons.
If your spouse lives in another state, the court will require you to serve the summons by mail or by publication.
If you mail it, the court will ask for some kind of proof that it was mailed. If you do mail it, remember to include a Respond form, Answer & Affidavit of Consent and Waiver, and a copy of the Petition.
You will need to file with the court a Proof of Service form or a Proof by Mailing form as proof that you did mail the form.
If your spouse abandoned you, or if you do not know how to locate your spouse, then the court will require you to place an ad in the local newspaper of your spouse’s last known location.
Before you place an ad in the local newspaper, check with the court for a list of approved newspapers, check to see how long the ad must run, and check to see if there is a required form that has to be filled out first.
The time limit to respond to the summons is usually between 30 and 60 days. After 60-days, check with the clerk to see if your spouse has responded to the summons, and at this time, attempt to set a court date.
The Respond forms allow your spouse to respond to the summons or citation and tell the court what they intend to do.
If your spouse does not respond within the time limit set on the summons or citation, usually 30 to 60 days, you can go to court and ask the court to grant you a divorce by default.
The responds form has to be signed and notarized by your spouse.
Answer & Affidavit of Consent and Waiver:
Answer & Affidavit of Consent and Waiver is a document that your spouse signs and notarizes, and either you or your spouse can file with the court.
When your spouse signs this document, they are telling the court that they agree with everything in the Petition, that they also would like a divorce, that they acknowledge that the court has jurisdiction to oversee the Divorce, and that they waive their rights to a hearing.
Depending on the State, this document will allow your spouse to skip the hearing and will enable you to attain a divorce by default.
However, if your Divorce involves children, you will probably not be able to use this document, and the court will likely require both spouses to show up for the hearing.
Declaration of Service, Proof of Service form, Proof by Mail form:
These forms provide proof to the court that you attempted to let your spouse know that you are filing for Divorce.
After you served your spouse with the summons or citation, fill out one of these forms and file it with the court. The court should be able to provide you with these forms.
Depending on the State, this document’s name will be either a Declaration of Service, Proof of Service form, or a Proof by Mail form. This will also depend on how you served your spouse with the summons or citation.