How Do I File for a No-Fault Divorce?
Filing for divorce refers to the process of creating your divorce papers and submitting them to a clerk at the appropriate county courthouse. Couples who agree on the key negotiation points of their breakup (financial, custody, etc.) can opt to create papers for an uncontested divorce by downloading and working through the relevant forms for their state/county of residence, or by using an online service that specializes in creating personalized divorce papers.
The divorce forms you’ll need are usually available for download from your state’s government website, or on a separate state courts website. You can use this online tool
from the US Government to look up contact information for your state government.
Once you have filled out the forms (using the documents and information you gathered beforehand), you must submit the forms at a county clerk’s office, sometimes referred to as a clerk of the court. This office is typically found in a courthouse located in your county of residency. There is a filing fee which must be paid at the time you file your divorce papers.
Even in a no-fault divorce case, only one spouse is permitted to file the divorce papers. Copies of the divorce papers must then be given to the other spouse in a process called "serving divorce papers." In most cases, you are not permitted to serve divorce papers to your spouse yourself; you must have someone like a friend, relative, or coworker do it. In some cases, the divorce papers can be delivered to your spouse via certified mail.
The other option for creating and filing papers for an uncontested divorce is to use an online service. These services are similar to those used to help you to file your income tax returns online. Using an online service automates much of the process for you, making it easier and quicker to create your divorce papers. In some cases, the service providers may even be able to file your divorce papers online as well, saving you a trip to the county courthouse.
If you and your spouse are able to come to an agreement on the key issues, filing for an uncontested divorce online is the most convenient and least expensive option available. LawDepot has partnered with 3StepDivorce
to help you get started.
Pro Tip: When a woman files divorce papers, she is often able to submit an application to change back to her maiden name at the same time. This application may be part of the divorce forms themselves, or it may require a separate form.