What Goes Into A Divorce Petition?

Are you starting the process of getting a divorce and need to file a petition? While each state has its own requirements for the divorce petition, it helps to know the basics of what needs to go into the petition before you file. 

Identify Information

You'll need information that will identify you and your spouse. This means listing their full name, and information like their driver's license and social security number. This may require digging out some old documents with the information to look it up if you do not have easy access to it.

Discover Level Request

There are states that will require you to select the amount of discovery that you want to have happen during the divorce process. This allows you to obtain information from your spouse by requesting documents and depositions. It is more common for an in-depth discovery process to happen for marriages that have a lot of high-value assets or when there are concerns that a spouse is hiding assets. If you and your spouse are willing to work together and do not have many assets, then a lengthy discovery process is not necessary.

Jurisdiction Requirements

You'll also need to file the divorce with the correct court based on where you live, and the jurisdiction section of the petition will have residency information proving that you are filing in the right court system. Make sure that you are aware of the requirements where you live, since you may have to live in the state for a certain length of time, or a requirement for the county that you live in. You could be forced to wait to file your divorce petition until those jurisdiction requirements are met, or file in another jurisdiction where you are eligible. 

Marriage And Separation Dates

The dates that you were married and separated are also important because they play a key role in the division of assets and debts. This can help decide how much of a pension someone is eligible to receive from their spouse, or whether you are responsible for debt taken on after a separation date. 

Grounds For Divorce Information

You must also have grounds that align with your state guidelines for why you are getting a divorce. This is due to some states only allowing for no-fault divorces, while others allow for you to have grounds for divorce such as adultery or abandonment. Certain grounds for divorce can be used to prove fault, and help receive more assets during a divorce settlement. 

For more information, contact a family lawyer