Divorce Chapter 2 – English Version.
Divorce Forms Part 2
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.
Served by Publication Form:
If you cannot find your spouse or if they have abandoned you, then the court will require you to inform your spouse that you are filing for Divorce by placing an ad in the newspaper of your spouse’s last known address. Some courts have a form for this, and other courts will not.
Some courts only require you to testify to this fact, and some courts require proof that you did place an ad in the newspaper.
If the court has a form for this or if the court requires proof that you placed an ad in the newspaper, then file the form and show proof of the ad to the court. Once the court is satisfied that you fulfill this requirement, then you can ask the court to grant you a divorce by default.
Application and Affidavit for Default:
If you cannot locate your spouse, or if your spouse does not respond to the summons, then ask the court for a Default Judgment. Most courts require you to file an Application & Affidavit for Default form and an Entry of Default form. The court will be able to provide you with these forms.
Other States only require you to show up and testify. Every State is a little different. Ask the clerk or check with your local legal help center regarding the correct procedure to attain a divorce by default.
Motion to Set:
Some courts require you to file a Motion to Set form to get a date for your divorce hearing, and the courts that do will provide you with this form.
Other courts give you a date for your divorce hearing automatically.
Ask the clerk or check with your local legal help center regarding the correct procedure to attain a trial date for your Divorce.
After you have a court date, some courts put the responsibility on you to inform your spouse of the court date. In such a case, you must give your spouse a written Notice of the exact court date and location.
You can mail it or deliver it in person. Make sure that you file the Notice with the court and that you file a Declaration of Service, a Proof of Service form, or a Proof by Mail form with the court regarding the Notice.
Other courts will mail the Notice to your spouse automatically.
Parenting Plan and Parenting Class:
Some States require you to create a Parenting Plan or attend a Parenting Class before they will allow you to file for Divorce. These States have a procedure that must be followed. Get the list of approved classes or mediation organizations from the clerk.
The Parenting Plan can include but is not limited to the following: (custody, child support, visitation, holidays, vacations, birthdays, disciplining the children, health care for the children, parental dating, children dating, dispute resolution, revisions, and updates to the Parenting Plan).
Whatever is decided with regards to the Parenting Plan has to be referenced in the Judgment/Decree.
“As stated and set forth in exhibit B regarding the Parenting Plan.”
After the Parenting Plan is completed, follow the State’s guidelines regarding filing it with the court.
Warning: If one parent does not attend the Parenting Class or Mediation, then that parent could lose all or most of his/her rights regarding the children and be at the mercy of the other parent.
If you believe that the other spouse will not show up for Parenting Mediation or will not show up to create the Parenting Plan within the time limit set by the court, which is usually 45 to 60 days, then send your spouse a notice of the time, date, and location of the place where the mediation to create the Parenting Plan will commence, and file this notice with the court.
The notice will show the judge that you made a reasonable attempt to fulfill your part of this requirement. Plus, it will show that your spouse has a lack of concern regarding the children’s welfare; and because of it, you should be given Sole Physical custody and Sole Legal custody of the children.
Sole Physical custody is the right to have the children only live with you
Sole Legal custody is the right to make all the major decisions relating to raising the children.
Even if the judge grants you Sole Physical custody and Sole Legal custody of the children, the other parent will still have to pay child support. If you go through your State’s child support agency, they will do their best to ensure that the other parent pays child support, no matter what State the other parent may reside.
Child Support ORDER:
Some States only allow you to go through your State’s child support agency to attain child support, and other States give you the option of doing it through the divorce proceedings.
We recommend that no matter what your State will allow you to do, contact your State’s child support agency before you file for Divorce and follow their procedure. They will be able to instruct you on your State’s child support guidelines, which have to be followed. Your State’s child support agency will help you meet all the guidelines.
Child support guidelines can include having an additional hearing where both spouses will show up separately or together, and the court will determine how much child support is required.
This usually requires you and your spouse to provide 2 to 3 months of pay stubs, and a court officer will take the pay stubs, type the amount into a computer, and tell you how much in child support you are responsible for paying.
Other States, the procedure may require you to go through a child support hearing. Create a Parenting Plan, and file a notarized copy of the Parenting Plan with the court as separate exhibits. Then reference the child support court’s ruling and the Parenting Plan in the Judgment/Decree.
“As stated and set forth in exhibit A regarding child support, and as stated and set forth in exhibit B regarding the parenting plan.”
B-1. PARENTING PLAN. Petitioner and Respondent agree to all the provisions set forth in the Parenting Plan. Parenting Plan, signed by both parties and attached to and incorporated in this document as Part B, and is made a part of this Judgment.
Check your child support guidelines for the correct titles for these exhibits.
If you think that your spouse will make you pay child support for children that are not your biological children, you should put in the Petition and the final Judgment, which children are your biological children and which children are not.
In fact, this has become so common that some States require you to put it the Petition, which children from the household are your biological children and which children from the household are not.
Marital Settlement Agreement:
A Marital Settlement Agreement is a contract between you and your spouse regarding what you two will do concerning the children, property, alimony, and debts. Since the Marital Settlement Agreement is a contract between both spouses, it has to be signed and notarized by both spouses and then filed with the court.
The majority of States allow Marital Settlement Agreements. However, some do not.
The Marital Settlement Agreement is part of the: Judgment – Decree that reads “THE COURT HEREBY ORDERED THAT.”
The Judgment/Decree is the most important document of all the documents. The Judgment/Decree is the legal ORDER from the court that ends your marriage.
It determines the rights and responsibilities of you and your spouse. It also states that the court has the legal power to make the orders in your case and that you and your spouse have met the residency requirement and the separation requirement.
The Judgment/Decree will state who is given what property, who is responsible for what debts, who will pay Alimony, who has custody of the children, and what the arrangements are for child support and visitation.
The Judgment/Decree is a document that you will have to create.
The Judgment/Decree document has to closely match your Petition and Marital Settlement Agreement. The judge might change some of the statements in the Judgment/Decree at the hearing, and if he does, you will have to make the changes he tells you to make and then re-submit this document.
If you are requesting to have your former name be restored or that a new name be authorized, then you request it here in the Judgment / Decree.
If you are the one filing the Judgment / Decree and your spouse wants their name changed, you cannot request this in the Judgment / Decree for your spouse. Your spouse will have to request it themselves in writing and submit it to the court.
For some states, there might be one more form that you might have to fill out, and this is a Certification form. The Certification form is a form used for statistical purposes. It is a form that allows the government to keep track of who is filing for Divorce.