Divorce Documents

Divorce documents are documents needed when filing for a divorce. Also called divorce papers, these documents are among the critical requirements for a fast divorce proceeding. Forms should be properly filledout by both parties.

1,448 Questions
Divorce and Marriage Law
Court Procedure
Divorce Documents

Can you file for divorce without attorney or contacting your spouse if he lives in another country?

You can file without an attorney.

If you have your spouse's address you're at minimum going to have to mail the information (papers) to him. If not, then to the last known address. You might have to publish it in a local paper where you think he lives. He certainly has a RIGHT to be there. There are many issues that might be on the table - Child Support, Equity in the home, alimony, value of other assets, etc.

Additional Opinions From Contributors

  • You can file a contested divorce. If you're good with paperwork then you can do it on your own. But if you're not, you probably need to get an attorney. I filed my own divorce without a lawyer or anything and the hardest part for me was finding all the right forms, but there are places online you can get them for a small price or if you're willing to work a little harder you can get them for free.
  • If you file it yourself, all you have to do as far as notifying the other party is when the papers are filed you have to send them registered mail to the last known address.
  • You can always file a divorce petition if you are competent enough to draft a divorce petition and know all the technicalities about the legal procedure and can face their attorney in the court of law.
  • You do not need to file a contested divorce if the other party is not contesting the action. Also, if you have done your due diligence you only need to motion the court to serve the other party by publication. The court will give you an order to take to the metro paper or publication in your area and you provide the notice to the other party that there is a pending action filed against him/her.
In India:In India lawyers are not allowed in the Family Court as per the provision of the Family Court Act. You can get your petition drafted by anyone and file the same in the Family Court. A Notice will be sent to the Respondent at his address reflected on the Petition by a messenger from the Court, who will submit his report to the Court. In case the messenger fails to serve the notice on the Respondent, he will submit his report along with reasons to the Court. When the Court fails in serving notice to the Respondent then the summons for appearance is published in a local news paper where the Respondent resides. If The Respondent fails to appear after the publication of notice in the local newspaper the Court Proceedings start ex-party and a ex-party decree is passed by the Court.
Divorce Documents

Can a spouse refuse to sign divorce papers?

Divorce laws vary from state to state but lack of a signature can rarely prevent a person from obtaining a divorce. You must consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction. Generally, the other party can refuse to sign the papers. You will need to follow your state laws at every step in the process. If they cannot be found the court will allow a notice by publishing. Depending on your jurisdiction they have to respond within a certain amount of time. If they do not, you can proceed with the divorce.

As long as you follow the proper procedures, and your spouse is properly served with the divorce papers, he or she cannot stop the divorce by refusing to sign something.


Your Spouse is not required to sign Divorce Papers in California.

New York

The Court will proceed with the divorce, whether your spouse wants the divorce or not.

It will not matter that your spouse refuses to sign divorce papers in New York once the state approves the new no-fault divorce law. Under the new law, you will be able to start divorce proceedings without her consent. The governor is expected to sign the bill the week of July 5, 2010 and then the law will go into effect immediately.

Under the new law, to file for divorce one of you will have to state under oath that the "relationship between husband and wife has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months."


File a dissolution of marriage petition under the default laws of the state. The non petitioning spouse will be given a specific time in which to respond to the divorce summons and if she or he fails to do so, the judge can grant the divorce decree according to the terms that are stated within. In Texas, if you have them served then they have 20 days to sign and if they do not then you automatically get the divorce.

Divorce and Marriage Law
Divorce Documents

What legal options are available to a spouse to prevent a divorce from being granted?

United States

I am an attorney who practices in family court. Most states are "no fault" divorce states in which you can merely assert that the marriage is "irretrievably broken" as a basis for a dissolution of marriage. Now, if the other partner answers the petition in writing to the court denying that the marriage is "irretrievably broken" the court may require the parties to undergo some marriage counseling to determine if the marriage can be reconciled before granting the divorce. However, judges will not force parties to stay married if the petitioning spouse still wants to dissolve the marriage.


If you apply for divorce and your spouse refutes it, most Judges accept your application irregardless of your spouse's response on the logic that if one person wants a divorce then the marriage is over.

Divorce Documents

Does your wife have to sign the divorce papers to get legally divorced in the state of Illinois?

You can get divorced in Illinois, or any other state, without your spouse signing any papers. You will have to post in a newspaper (any newspaper as long as its posted) that the divorce has been filed, that gives your spouse a chance to respond. If your spouse don't respond usually withing 30 days then the divorce is legal. Anyone living in Illinois filing for a divorce also has to meet the 90 day residency requirement. You have to be a resident of Illinois for 90 days before filing your petion for Dissolution of Marriage in Illinois. Illinois divorce laws and court system is very bias towards men. In Illinois get a good lawyer, perferably one referred to you through the Bar Association. That referal will cost maybe $20.00, but will save you allot of money in the end. At all the court sessions request that a court reporter always be present so every statements being made are legally documented and part of the divorce file. In Illinois that makes a huge difference.

Divorce Documents

What happens if the final divorce papers are not signed by the Petitioner but are signed by Respondent after 30 days of the Judge finalizing the divorce?

If the judge has signed them, the parties' signatures are not required. If one party has prepared the decree following the judge's oral pronouncement, and if the other party fails to sign the proposed draft of the decree of divorce so that it can be submitted to the court, then the drafting party should file a "Motion to Enter" with a copy of the proposed decree attached to the motion and seek a hearing on the motion, and at such hearing the Court will enter a decree with or without signatures.

Divorce Documents

Is your divorce still legal if your lawyer put Jr instead of Sr on your divorce papers?

Yes, a simple mistake in wording does not change the validity of the legal document. You and your husband will be divorced, but 3d parties such as social security, insurance beneficiary contracts, retirement, and the like will not recognize Sr's authorization on legal documents stating Jr's name. A motion nunc pro tunc ("now for then") is to be filed by Sr to correct the decree. It opens up no legal issues, and it is merely ministerial and used for mistakes such as this one.

Divorce and Marriage Law
US Constitution
Divorce Documents

How long is the wait before a divorce can take place if spouse refuses to sign the divorce?

It varies from person to person and depends if there are children, properties or a substantial amount of money involved. In British Columbia, Canada, once you have been separated from your spouse for 7 years you can request a divorce document (as long as you have not had anything to do with your ex.) You can also have your lawyer push for the divorce. If you have a lawyer it sounds as if he/she is not doing their job well. If you don't have a lawyer I suggest you get one. I tried getting a divorce the easy way from my ex, but he was doing the same thing your husband is doing (just being nasty) and I had to get a lawyer and even at that it took me 2 years to get that divorce.

Divorce Documents

Must the father sign the divorce papers knowing he will pay child support and alimony even though he is taking the same responsibility in caring for the kids?


Divorce and Marriage Law
Divorce Documents

Legally what power does your wife have to move on with a separation and divorce if you refuse to sign the papers?

If most states, you do not need to prove "fault" to get a divorce or legal separation. She can hire an attorney and proceed however she deems fit.

AnswerShe has every right to proceed with the divorce. She does not have to have your permission to get a divorce. Answer

She does not need your signature. If you refuse to sign to acknowledge that you received the petition/complaint, she will have you served. If you refuse to sign a settlement agreement, she will ask for a trial date and have the judge decide how to divide your property and to declare you divorced.

Divorce and Marriage Law
Las Vegas
Divorce Documents

If your spouse moves out of state how can you find out if they have filed for divorce?


you can call the courthouse in the state and county you were married in, they can tell you if your spouse filed for divorce.

South Africa
Divorce Documents

How do get a certified copy of divorce papers from south Africa?


Not in a million years! The only place you can get copies of your divorce papers, is at the court where you got divorced. There are companies like Divorce RPD who obtain documents for you.

You will need your case number; without the case number the court will not be able to help you. You can get your case number from the Dept. of Home Affairs, IF it was captured on their system. If it is not listed with the Dept, you will have to go to the court archives and look up your case number.

Once you have your case number, you can request copies of your divorce documents from court. This will take anything between a few days to a few months, influenced by the date of the divorce, the court, the archiving company, current staff working there and lots of luck (or not?). You can get copies of your divorce decree, your divorce settlement if available and you could also get certified copies of your divorce papers and even an "Apostille" with your divorce records.

Be ready and prepared to make many phone calls, hold-on for hours and then stand in queues for hours, and maybe come up with nothing. Easiest is to let the pro's , like Divorce RPD, handle it for you.

Divorce and Marriage Law
Citizenship and Marriage
Divorce Documents

If an alien with no greencard or papers gets a divorce will they get deported?

An alien with no greencard or "papers" could get deported any time. Getting married or getting a divorce are things which, in and of themselves, have no baring on the aliens immigration status.

If the spouse had filed a petition on the alien's behalf, the petition would no longer be valid. An immature or vindictive ex-spouse could try to make immigration trouble for the alien, but it's unlikely that they would be able to actually get the person deported.

Law & Legal Issues
Divorce Documents

Is it Illegal to sign spouse's name on divorce papers to get a divorce?

You can't possibly think that someone will tell you it is ok to forge a person's signature on a legal document.

Divorce and Marriage Law
Los Angeles
Divorce Documents

How do I obtain a certified copy of a divorce decree from Los Angeles Superior Court?

Copies of court documents - including orders regarding dissolution's of marriage and judgments of dissolution's, probate, wills, name changes, criminal and civil cases - are available at a district headquarters courthouse in which the matter was handled, or if it is an older record at the Los Angeles County Superior Court

Archives. Check at a district headquarters courthouse - see "Superior Courts" for a listing of the district courts or go to lasuperiorcourt.org to determine where the file is stored. (No phone orders will be accepted).

Some post-1999 civil case documents may be online on the related link provided.

For the Central District Court, you may visit or write the certification section in Rm. 112 at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, 111 N. Hill St., Los Angeles or call (213) 974-5191 for information. (No phone orders will be accepted.)

To order documents from the Archives requires having a case number, names of the parties and what document you want copied. If you have the names of the parties and the year the case was filed, but no case number, and it was filed in 1965 or earlier, you may request the case number by calling the civil index clerk at (213) 974-1378. If the case was filed after 1965, call the civil index clerk at (213) 974-5171.

Divorce and Marriage Law
Teen Dating
Divorce Documents

How do you find out if your boyfriend has really filed for his divorce?

Check with the Clerk of Court in the Parish where your boyfriend got married. Divorce records are public records and as long as you know his full name and at least part of her name, you would be able to find out. I have done this and cannot access records

San Diego
Divorce Documents

How can a 17-year-old find a copy of their adoption papers?

If you want the name of a PI that has helped many children and birth mothers re-unite, or at least find out the facts then email me direct to: adoption@plzone.com. I will leave this email active for a while. The lady helped my nephew find his mother (my sister-in-law). My sister-in-law has four kids she raised and they have had a great family reunion. And this P.I. helped my wife find her son she gave up for adoption 30 years ago. All this has turned out wonderful!!! My wife and her son talk every week on the phone and we have even made great friends with the family that adopted him. We talk to them twice a week, or at least email real often. We have exchanged at least 500 photos . . . they story goes on . . .

Divorce Documents

What is the difference between serving divorce papers and filing for divorce?

When you initiate any lawsuit, the first thing you do is file a Complaint or Petition. This is a document outlining what you want and why you are legally entitled to it. (In a divorce, you sue the other person for dissolution of marriage.) This document is filed with the clerk of court, and is called a case. This process is commonly referred to as filing for divorce.

Once your Complaint is filed, you must then give the defendant formal legal notice of the pending lawsuit. This is done by "service of process," meaning you serve them. Different states have different rules for how a Complaint may be serve, but it typically involves having the sheriff or another authorized person physically place the documents in the Defendant's hands.

Once a person has been served, they have a certain period of time (20-30 days, depending on jurisdiction) to file an Answer, or a formal document responding to the Complaint. The Answer must be filed with the court, and also sent to the Plaintiff or Plaintiff's attorney by mail or hand delivery. If your serving for divorce you have the court documents (papers) showing you have filed for the divorce with the courts. Filing for a divorce is the first step in the divorce process. The spouse then has to be served for the divorce proceedings to begin.

When divorce papers are served they are officially given to the spouse and the court is made aware that the spouse is officially aware of the divorce.

Divorce Documents

What do you do if your husband serves you with divorce papers?

Find yourself a good lawyer who specializes in divorce. Also, try to think about the future and what you need and what will make it go smoothly. Try not to be bitter and angry and end the marriage as fairly and peacefully as possible.

Children and the Law
Divorce Documents

If a father with partial custody wants to move out of state what kind of visitation rights can the he expect to have with the children?

Generally, in regards to a voluntary move, the parties need to come to some sort of an agreement about visitations. There are so many factors that must be considered: the age of the children, the distance that must be travelled, whether the parent who is moving can travel back for visits, etc. The party that moves should not expect the parent with physical custody to incur expenses relating to the visitations. If the parties cannot agree on a plan they will need legal advice.

Divorce Documents

What happens if divorce papers were never signed?

then your still married

Divorce and Marriage Law
Divorce Documents

How do you find out if you have been divorced if you have never been served divorce papers?

the courthouse in the state and county you were married in would have a record of that info, they are public records

Divorce and Marriage Law
Divorce Documents

How long do you have to wait if your spouse refuses to sign their divorce agreement?

If your spouse refuses to sign the agreement that you have proposed, he/she may propose an alternate agreement, or may refuse. If the two of you cannot reach an agreement on your own, you may have to attend court ordered mediation.

If you still cannot reach an agreement, you will have a trial. You will have to wait for the court to set a trial date. Depending on the area, how busy they are, and any state waiting periods, you may get a trial date anywhere from 3 months to 3 years after initially filing.

Divorce and Marriage Law
Divorce Documents

If you filed for a divorce can you change it to a legal separation?

No, generally both parties will need to request the dissolution of marriage petition be withdrawn or dismissed, and then need to file a petition of separation. Not every state will grant a legal separation decree, nor dismiss a divorce petition depending upon the circumstances.

Divorce Documents

What do divorce papers look like?

lots of papers with lots of information on it.

Divorce Documents

What is the time frame for filing divorce papers once signed?

30 days in some states


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