When marriage ends, it rarely ends well, but sometimes this is a result of either or both parties lacking a full understanding of the required divorce forms and procedures. While an attorney can handle all of the legal proceedings and divorce forms, they are not on retainer to provide emotional support or counseling. It can help ease the emotional burdens of divorce when the process is fully understood.
To begin with, local and state laws will dictate the divorce proceeding and the necessary divorce forms. In addition, each situation warrants different petitions and different forms to be filed. For instance, in a marriage ending in divorce or dissolution with no children, there will be far fewer forms than those where children were born or adopted into the marriage. Other variables include contesting of the division of property, child visitation, spousal support, or other terms of the divorce.
Typically, each jurisdiction will mandate a filing fee that is associated with each form. The first divorce form to be filed is the initial petition for divorce or dissolution. This petition must be filed in the court, signed or stamped as received, and then served on the other party.
Before the final decree of divorce or dissolution is issued, there will be numerous forms to be completed by both parties. Common divorce forms include temporary orders regarding living arrangements and child custody if applicable, a disclosure of income and assets, and the division of property. In situations of domestic violence, child custody disputes, or where division of property is contested, the paper work will be more entailed.
While divorce forms for nearly every situation are available for purchase online, experts recommend only those with a knowledge or understanding of the courts and whose divorce is agreed upon by both parties amicably should attempt a divorce, dissolution, or legal separation without an attorney. If you are certain your situation is easily resolved, before paying for forms, check with your local domestic court to see if the necessary divorce forms are available for free. The filing fees alone will be costly and why pay for forms when you don't have to and when you aren't receiving legal advice to complete them.
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