Free Online Printable Divorce Papers:
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A divorce is the most common way of ending a marriage. Divorce is also called “dissolution of marriage.” In a divorce, a court declares the marriage contract broken, divides the couple’s property and debts, comes to an agreement on alimony, custody & support of minor children.
In the past, a divorce could only be granted under very specific circumstances, such as adultery or mental cruelty. Nowadays, however, many states allow a divorce simply because one or both of the parties want one. This is referred to as a no-fault divorce. Typically, the complaint or petition only needs to mention that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” or “irreparably broken.” It is estimated that upwards of 95% of divorces in the US are "uncontested," because the two parties are able to come to an agreement (either with or without lawyers/mediators/collaborative counsel) about the property, children and support issues. When the parties can agree and present the court with a fair and equitable divorce settlement agreement, approval of the divorce is almost guaranteed. If the two parties cannot come to an agreement, they may ask the court to decide how to split property, debt and deal with the custody and support of their children.
General Divorce Law & Information - How Divorce Works:
The basic divorce law in most states is simple and straightforward. The following criteria need to be shown in order to get a divorce:
1) Your marriage is broken. You merely need to state this fact.
2) You need to show how your property is to be divided.
3) You need to decide custody and support of your children.
4) Who is to receive alimony? How much, and for how long?
The divorce process itself requires three basic steps:
1) You need to file a petition for divorce with the court clerk.
2) You need to notify your spouse you are filing for divorce.
3) You need to go to the court hearing(s) and present the information required.
What is an "Uncontested" divorce?
An uncontested divorce is one in which the parties negotiate their own settlement rather than going to trial and letting a judge decide the issues for them. Many people find that an uncontested divorce will benefit them for several reasons. The process seems to be faster and less expensive. The parties maintain control over their future by reaching their own decisions. The Court does not impose a judgment on them after a trial. The parties are also better able to maintain (or establish) a civil relationship if they are not involved a heated legal battle with all of the stress and discomfort that a trial may involve. The reduced hostility makes it easier for divorced parents to raise children together.
Do I need a lawyer?
You do not need to have a lawyer, but it is a good idea to speak with a divorce attorney if you and your spouse do not agree on the terms defined in your Petition For Divorce or if your spouse has a lawyer. If you are afraid for your safety or your children's safety, or if you want help with your divorce even if you started the divorce without a lawyer.
What does "grounds for divorce" mean?
Grounds for divorce is the term used to describe the reason(s) you are seeking a divorce. You can ask the court to grant you a divorce based on adultery, cruelty, abandonment, your spouse has been convicted of a felony offense and has been incarcerated. You have been living apart, or your spouse has been committed to a mental institution with little or no hope of recovery. These reasons are not all inclusive. If you are uncertain as to what grounds for divorce you wish to claim then you will want to consult with a licensed attorney or your local legal aid office.
What if I do not know where my spouse is living or how to contact them?
You do not need to know where your spouse is in order to get divorced. However you will need to complete a few special forms which will prove to the court that you have done everything within reason to try and locate your spouse.
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A Divorce Settlement Agreement is a form prepared together by two spouses seeking a divorce who have reached an agreement about how their property, assets, debts and other marital issues will be divided or handled. This Agreement can also be used to define child custody, visitation and child support if the parties have minor children under age 18. IMPORTANT: You must be in contact with your spouse and have reached an agreement in order to use this form. Take note that each state may call this Agreement by a different title. For example, a Divorce Settlement Agreement may be known in your state as a "Marital Settlement Agreement" or a "Marital Separation Agreement." The appropriate title for your state will appear within the Agreement.
A Marriage Separation Agreement is a form prepared by spouses contemplating a divorce who have reached an agreement to separate and regarding how their property, assets, debts and other marital issues will be divided or handled. This Agreement can also be used to define child custody, visitation and child support if the parties have minor children. If you have legal questions regarding the legal separation process or filing for legal separation, you can connect with an attorney in your area to ask questions about divorce in your state and get help filling out your divorce paperwork.
A Divorce Worksheet is a form intended to organize personal and financial information about you and your spouse to assist you in preparing for a divorce. It can be prepared before or after you have an initial meeting with a lawyer who is assisting you with your divorce.
An Acceptance of Service form is a document that allows a party to accept the formal service of divorce paperwork in a divorce lawsuit or divorce legal action.
A Waiver of Service is a form that allows a party to waive the requirement of formal service in a lawsuit or legal action.
Our free divorce papers download includes all of the forms and instructions needed to start or complete a do it yourself divorce in all 50 states. Print the required divorce forms for your state. Fill in all the necessary information on each form. File your competed divorce papers with your local family court.
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