Divorce is a stressful time for the couple that is separating. Whether its mutual, or contested, the legal process has to be completed and the documentation needs to be spot on. If you’re going through the divorce process, you need to familiarize yourself with free divorce papers.

Free Divorce Papers

What are divorce papers?

There is no exact definition for “free divorce papers” as these encompass all of the required paperwork for the process of divorce. Divorce papers consist of several documents and it’s important to know the names of each document and what you need each document for.

You can consider any document you use as printable divorce papers until you have finalized your divorce. Here are the most common documents you will encounter throughout this process:

  • Summons
    In a divorce proceeding, this is the first document used to begin the process. The purpose of this document is to inform both you and your spouse that you’re prohibited from harassing each other and that neither of you can cancel or change any insurance policies or the beneficiaries of these policies.
    Moreover, the summons also specifies that neither party may sell any property unless necessary to pay for attorney’s fees or living expenses.
  • Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
    The Summons usually comes with this document that enumerates all of the relevant facts of your marriage. This document asks for some sort of resolution. Together with the Summons, this document is personally served to you or your spouse.
  • Answer and Counter-Petition
    You would write this document in response to the first two documents. Your response includes the background, factual information, and responding actions to your spouse’s requests. Should you or your spouse fail to provide this document within 30 days, the court might grant a Default Judgment.
  • Divorce Process
    After you have delivered the previous document, the divorce proceeding will go through additional stages. These stages can be quite complex and you might need additional documents, especially if the process requires several hearings. Ultimately, the process ends with a Divorce Decree, either by mutual agreement or by a decision of the court.
  • Divorce Decree
    This is the document that dissolves your marriage and finalizes your divorce. Generally, this document includes:
    child support
    child custody
    property division
    alimony payments

Printable Divorce Papers

How to get divorce papers?

In simpler terms, free divorce papers refer to the documents to serve the spouse an individual plans to divorce. These papers contain all of the information about the marriage. Be careful when filing for divorce as you might end up getting fake divorce papers.

You should go through the proper legal process to get these documents. Here are different ways to do this:

  • Online
    The internet makes it easier to file for divorce. Go to your state’s website and search for the necessary paperwork. One good thing about this method is that you can get the documents free. Remember that the rules may vary depending on your county or state – this applies to online processes too.
  • Non-Government Sources
    Another option is to turn to online companies who claim to have these papers. There are so many of these companies and choosing one might feel overwhelming. Sometimes, though, the divorce papers aren’t updated with the current divorce laws.
    You should search the ratings of all divorce websites first. Reputable websites usually let you talk to a lawyer first just to be sure you’re filing your papers correctly. To make sure you aren’t missing any important information, the lawyer will help you go through the documents step-by-step.
  • Offline
    You can always get the right divorce papers in person if you can’t find them online at your county clerk’s office. If they don’t have these papers, there is also the chance that they can send the forms through post.
    One good thing about this method is that the forms are much easier to fill out and they usually have forms for each aspect of the divorce process. Furthermore, you have the added assurance of knowing that the source of the papers is completely legitimate and you don’t have to worry about scams.

Fake Divorce Papers

How to fill out divorce papers?

The first thing you have to know when filling up divorce papers PDF is that you should meet the residency requirements when filing for divorce. Settling this and having the free divorce papers you need, you can follow these steps to properly fill out the free divorce papers:

  • Write your full name and address first. Include the address where you can receive your mail. Include your phone number too.
  • Where it says “Attorney For,” enter either “Pro Per” or “In Pro Per.”
  • Indicate the Superior Court county where you’re filing for divorce. Enter the address of the court along with the name of the branch. Use the courthouse’s name if it has a specific one.
  • Write down the names of the respondent (your spouse) and the petitioner (yourself). Use both first names and surnames.
  • In “Petition For,” tick Dissolution. Also, tick Marriage since the petition is for the dissolution of your marriage.
  • Note whether you’re in a domestic partnership or married.
  • Note that you meet all of the residency requirements.
  • Under “Statistical Facts,” write down your marriage date. Then write down your separation date. This is when you believe your marriage ended or when you were officially separated in court.
  • Indicate whether you have children or not. This includes adopted and biological children. Enter the name, date of birth, and age of each child.
  • Under “Legal Grounds,” tick Divorce.
  • List your custody preferences. Legal custody means you’re taking on a major role in making decisions for your children like educational, religious, childcare, and medical choices. If you prefer shared legal custody with your spouse, tick Joint.
  • Fill out separate property with all of the required details. Separate property refers to the property you have obtained before your marriage or after you have separated. Also, list down any inheritances or gifts you have received during your marriage.
  • List your community property. This refers to what you and your spouse own and owe. Even if you don’t own a house, you would divide your personal items as community property.
  • Write the date when you filled out the papers, write your name, and affix your signature.