The petition for divorce/dissolution is a legal document that a spouse who wants the divorce sent to the court. Also called “demand” in some states, the petition informs the court of the desire of the spouse (called the “applicant” or “applicant”) to end his marriage. Submit these documents to the court means the start of the divorce process. Once the petition for divorce/dissolution has been “given” to the spouse of the applicant, you are hereby notified that the divorce process has started (more information about delivery below).
Content of the petition for divorce/dissolution: information and requirements
Although the requirements and formats vary from state to state, the petition for divorce/dissolution typically contains the following information:
- Identification of the spouses by name and address;
- Date and place of marriage;
- Identification of the children of the marriage;
- Proof that the applicant and/or his spouse has lived in the state or county for a certain period prior to submission of the petition;
- Grounds for divorce;
- Statement or information on how you would like the applicant to establish the finances, the division of property, custody of minor children, visitation, and other matters related to the divorce.
Content of the petition for divorce/dissolution: temporary orders
In addition to the information described above, the petition for divorce/dissolution you must ask the court to turn some “orders” with respect to the family finances while the divorce process takes its course. If the court approved, these orders usually remain in effect until the divorce. Temporary orders can decide on the following:
- Which spouse will have custody of the minor children;
- The calendar of visits for the spouse who does not have custody of the child;
- Payments for child support;
- Payments for the maintenance of the spouse;
- Which spouse will live in the former matrimonial home or the primary residence;
- Payment of accounts and other financial matters.
Where do you send the petition for divorce/dissolution?
The divorce is governed by state law, and the divorce process is handled solely at the state level, therefore, the spouse seeking a divorce sends its request to the court, “superior” or “circuit” of his state; which usually is found in the branch of the county or district of his state.
Press this link for more information on where to request a divorce (includes a list of requirements by state on the residence time).
After a petition for divorce/dissolution is sent to the court, the applicant (and their attorney) must ensure that the petition is “served” (legally delivered) to the other spouse. Each state has strict requirements on the delivery of legal documents, including different methods of service that are available; so it is important that you do it the right way so that the divorce can proceed.
Example of the information for the petition for divorce/dissolution (or demand)
The specific examples by state below will give you an idea of what is the information of divorce/dissolution (or demand), how it physically, and the information these documents usually contain:
- Massachusetts: suit for divorce [PDF] (Community of MA – Hampshire)
- New York: verified Complaint – Action for Divorce [PDF] (Supreme Court of N. Y.)
- Oregon: Petition for Dissolution of marriage with minor children [PDF] (Oregon Courts)
- Washington: Petition for Dissolution of marriage [PDF] (Washington Courts).