Documents Required for Divorce
If you and your spouse are in agreement on all issues then you can obtain an Uncontested Divorce without the expense of litigation. However, if you and your spouse are in agreement on all issues then you really need to reconsider whether you should be getting a divorce. So, think about it.
The lease expensive and fastest way to get a divorce is all of your documents ready by the time that you file your papers in Court. The particular documents will differ for each case, but examples of some of the documents are:
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage;
- Financial Affidavits;
- Notice of Confidential Filing;
- Marital Settlement Agreement;
- Parenting Plan; and
- Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Affidavit (UCCJEA).
This list is not a complete, and depending on the facts, you may not be required to filed any of these other documents. Once you have all of your documents, you are ready to file for divorce. The light at the end of the tunnel is called a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage. Generally, a Court will not enter a Final Judgment without evidence that the Petition was served on the other party. However, there is a process that allows you to avoid the requirement of formally serving the papers on your spouse. Once you have either served your spouse or your spouse waived service, then you will need to get a hearing date for the Final Judgment. The process for obtaining a hearing date differs from judge to judge.
When you have a settlement agreement
Your spouse may waive the requirement that you formally serve the petition by filing an Answer, Waiver and Request for Final Judgment. If you have no marital property or debts, no minor children, and have not requested spousal support, then an Answer admitting that the marriage is irretrievably broken is probably sufficient for the Court to enter a Final Judgment. Furthermore, you will need to have a written agreement.
When you do not have an agreement
If you are unable to get the other party to sign a settlement agreement and file such an Answer admitting the allegations in the Petition then you need a Summons, which must be served on your spouse. If you do not know where your spouse is living and are unable to obtain service of process then you will need to request permission to proceed with publication notice, which requires more filings.