Divorce Chapter 3, English Version
The Steps to File for Divorce
File a signed and notarized petition or complaint, which asks the court for a divorce, the reasons why you want the divorce, and what you would like from the divorce.
The petition has to be signed and notarized by you.
Send your spouse a Summons or a Citation, which tells your spouse that you are asking the court for a divorce and what they need to do. Send with the summons or citation a copy of the petition, plus a Responds form and an Answer & Affidavit of Consent and Waiver.
If your spouse has abandoned you, or you do not know how to locate your spouse, then you place an ad in the newspaper of your spouse’s last known location telling your spouse that you are requesting a divorce.
If you hand-deliver the Summons or Citation, make sure that your spouse signed an Acceptance of Service form. Then file this form with the State. The Acceptance of Service form tells the court that your spouse was informed that you are asking the court for a divorce.
If your spouse lives in another State, you will send a copy of the petition with the Summons or Citation, and a Respond form, and an Answer & Affidavit of Consent and Waiver.
The Responds form, an Answer & Affidavit of Consent, and Waiver have to be signed and notarized by your spouse.
If there are children involved, go to your local child support agency and file for child support. Furthermore, some States also require you to create a Parenting Plan or attend some sort of Parenting Mediation or Counseling.
File a signed and notarized Declaration of Service, Proof of Service form, or Proof by Mail form. This tells the court that you attempt to inform your spouse that you are filing for divorce.
File the results of your child support documents, and if applicable, a copy of the Parenting Plan or poof of Parenting Mediation or Counseling.
Furthermore, if applicable, file a signed and notarized copy of the Marital Settlement Agreement.
If it has been over 30-days since you sent your spouse the Summons or Citation, then go back to the court and check to see if your spouse has responded to the Summons or Citation.
If you informed your spouse that you are seeking a divorce by placing an ad in the newspaper, you might need to wait 60 to 90 days before the clerk can tell you if your spouse has responded to the ad.
Then schedule a divorce hearing. To schedule a divorce hearing, some States require that you fill out and file a “Motion To Set Form,” other States provide you with a hearing date automatically.
Mail your spouse a notice of the hearing and file a copy of the notice with the court.
If you informed your spouse that you are asking the court for a divorce by placing an ad in the newspaper, then file an Application and Affidavit form and an Entry of Default form, which asks the court to grant you a divorce by default.
If it has been than 20-days since you mailed your spouse the notice of the hearing, and if your spouse.
- Did not respond to the summons or citation, OR
- Responded to the summons by waiving their rights, OR
- Responded by consenting to the divorce
then file a signed and notarized Application and Affidavit form and an Entry of Default form, which ask the court to grant you a divorce by default.
Create a Judgment or Decree that corresponds to what you have written in the Petition, Parenting Plan, Child Support Order, and Marital Settlement Agreement. Then file a signed and notarized Judgment or Decree.
The Judgment/Decree has to be signed and notarized by you.
Go to court, answer the judge’s questions, and take notes. If the judge changes anything in your Judgment or Decree at the hearing, ask the judge if you should schedule another hearing after making the changes and filed a revised Judgment or Decree.
Make the changes, re-file a signed and notarized Judgment or Decree, then schedule another hearing.
At the hearing, if the judge makes any statement or asks you any question that you do not understand, ask the judge to explain.
However, once the judge signs the Divorce Judgment or Decree and is filed with the clerk, your divorce is NOT completely official.
At the Divorce Hearing, make sure that you are not late. Have extra copies of all documents for the judge. Do not bring the children. Answer all the judge’s questions, and ask the judge to explain anything you do not understand.
After you receive your final divorce papers signed by the judge, send your creditors and the credit reporting companies a notice regarding your divorce. If your spouse did not show up for the hearing, mail them a copy of the final divorce papers signed by the judge.
After receiving your final divorce papers signed by the judge, go back to the county courthouse and have your divorce recorded. Once your divorce is recorded, then your divorce is official.
We wish you the Best of luck. Remember that millions of couples file for divorce without the help of a lawyer each year, which mean that you cannot BS a judge. They have seen and heard it all.