How to File an Agreed Divorce A Step by Step Guide
Divorce can be a complicated and emotionally challenging process, but an agreed divorce can be a more straightforward and less contentious way to end a marriage. In an agreed divorce, both parties agree on the terms of the divorce, including issues such as child custody, division of assets, and spousal support. If you and your spouse have reached an agreement, filing for an agreed divorce can be a simple process. Here is a step-by-step guide to filing an agreed divorce.
Step 1: Meet the Residency Requirements
Before you can file for divorce, you must meet the residency requirements for the state in which you are filing. These requirements vary from state to state, but typically, you or your spouse must have lived in the state for a certain period of time before you can file for divorce. Check the requirements for your state before proceeding.
Step 2: Prepare the Necessary Documents
To file for an agreed divorce, you will need to prepare several documents. These documents may vary depending on your state, but typically include:
- Petition for Divorce: This document formally requests the divorce and outlines the terms of the agreement.
- Marital Settlement Agreement: This document details the agreed-upon terms of the divorce, including the division of assets, child custody, and spousal support.
- Financial Affidavit: This document provides information about each party’s income, expenses, and assets.
- Other Supporting Documents: Depending on your state and the specifics of your divorce, you may need to provide additional documents, such as a parenting plan or child support worksheet.
Step 3: File the Documents with the Court
Once you have prepared the necessary documents, you will need to file them with the court. You will need to pay a filing fee, which varies by state, to initiate the divorce process. You will also need to provide copies of the documents to your spouse, either through personal service or through certified mail.
Step 4: Wait for a Response
After you file for divorce, your spouse will have a certain period of time, typically 30 days, to respond. If your spouse agrees to the terms of the divorce, they can sign the Marital Settlement Agreement and file it with the court. If your spouse does not respond or contests the divorce, you may need to attend a court hearing to resolve any issues.
Step 5: Attend a Final Hearing
If your spouse agrees to the terms of the divorce and files the Marital Settlement Agreement, you will likely need to attend a final hearing. This hearing is typically brief and straightforward. You will need to testify under oath that you agree to the terms of the divorce and that you understand the consequences of those terms. If the judge approves the agreement, they will issue a final divorce decree.
Step 6: Follow Through with the Terms of the Agreement
Once the divorce is finalised, both parties must follow through with the terms of the agreement. This may include paying spousal support, dividing assets, or following a parenting plan. Failure to comply with the terms of the agreement can result in legal consequences.
In conclusion, an agreed divorce can be a less stressful and less time-consuming way to end a marriage if both parties are able to come to an agreement. If you are considering an agreed divorce, it is important to prepare the necessary documents, file them with the court, attend any necessary hearings, and follow through with the terms of the agreement. With these steps, you can successfully navigate the agreed divorce process and move forward with your life.