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Uncontested Divorce Online Forms  

Uncontested Divorce Online
Frequently Asked Questions



1. What are the costs involved for filing a divorce? 
2. What about alimony? 
3. Marital Settlement Agreement... What is it? 
4. How is child custody decided? 
5. Must I go to court? 
6. How can I change my name upon divorce? 
7. What are the Residency requirements for filing for divorce? 
8. What is no-fault divorce? 
9. Who pays for debts made during the Marriage? 
10. What is the difference between no-fault divorce and uncontested divorce? 
11. Can I change my child's name upon divorce? 
12. How is property divided, including retirement funds? 
14. When can I remarry after divorce? 

  You may find your answer at our Discussion Board 


What are the costs involved for filing a divorce?
The filing fee is approximately $100-$200 in most places. If a response is filed, add another $100-$200. These fees are collected by the government and are in addition to any service or legal fees or those charged by this website.

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What about alimony?
Spousal support, otherwise known as "alimony," is not required in all cases in most states, but should be considered and may even be ordered by the judge under certain circumstances.

Spousal support should be considered if the circumstances are such that a spouse will face hardships if he or she does not receive financial support. The deciding reason for spousal support is the need to maintain the spouse at his or her customary standard of living. In other words, the law recognizes that a wife (or husband) should not be forced to live at a level below that enjoyed during the marriage.

However, other factors also need to be considered. For example, spousal support should most likely not be considered if the marriage was short (under two or three years), and both spouses are self-sufficient. However, if the parties agree on support, the court is bound to accept it. However, when spousal support is not awarded in the original decree, that decree cannot later be modified to award spousal support.

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Marital Settlement Agreement... What is it?
A marital settlement agreement spells out the terms of the divorce and the relationship between the two spouses after the divorce. Parties to a divorce are encouraged to enter into a written property settlement agreement containing provisions for the maintenance of either spouse, the disposition of any property owned by either spouse, the allocation of debts, and the support and custody of any minor children. The agreement of the parties is then presented to the court for its approval and a decree of dissolution is entered.

Filing a marital settlement agreement is not required but it has many advantages. First, it prevents ambiguities. Second, it avoids court because the judge will most likely honor the written agreement if written correctly and if it covers all material aspects of the divorce. Third, it shows the court that the issues were considered carefully, and the case will move more quickly though the system.

Marital settlement agreements can be entered into at any time before the final judgment. They are typically filed with the final judgment.

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How is child custody decided?
The parents must decide on the custody of minor children. Custody includes physical custody, i.e., where will the children live. It also includes legal custody, or who will make the important decisions regarding the children's health, education, etc. Both physical and legal custody can be either joint or sole.

Note that joint custody means the sharing of parental rights and duties and not just necessarily equal time.

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Must I go to court?
If your divorce is uncontested and if a marital settlement agreement is filed, then in most cases, no. In that case, all of the legal documents can be filed with the court, and the judgment can be sent to you. The court could request a formal or informal hearing. At an informal hearing, the judge may ask questions about certain facts presented in the papers. At a formal hearing, the divorce case must be presented from the beginning. In most uncontested cases, however, all questions relating to the divorce are settled prior to the actual hearing (or trial). Thus the hearing (or trial) often lasts only minutes.

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How can I change my name upon divorce?
Upon request, the judge handling your divorce can usually make a formal order to restore your former or birth name. Obtain certified copies of your divorce decree as proof of name change to use on your identification and personal records. In most states you can also simply begin using your former name consistently and have it changed on your identification and personal records, even if it doesn’t appear on your divorce papers.

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What are the Residency requirements for filing for divorce?
The requirements for establishing residency vary from state to state. Someone who files for divorce must offer proof that he has resided there for the required length of time.

If one spouse meets the residency requirement of a state or country, a divorce obtained there is valid, even if the other spouse lives somewhere else. The courts of all states will recognize the divorce. Any decisions the court makes regarding property division, alimony, custody and child support, however, may not be valid unless the non-resident spouse consented to the jurisdiction of the court or later acts as if the foreign divorce was valid -- for example, by paying court-ordered child support.

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What is no-fault divorce?
No-fault divorce eliminates the need to prove one party is at fault for causing the breakdown of the marriage. No-fault divorce is divorce granted on the basis of a showing by either spouse that a marriage is "irretrievably broken." One spouse must simply state a reason recognized by the state and, in some states, the couple must also live apart for a period of time. Marital misconduct does not need to be proven. The most common grounds for no-fault divorce are separation, irreconcilable differences, and irretrievable breakdown, i.e., you no longer live together or you are no longer compatible and have very different goals, needs and desires for your life, or your marriage has deteriorated beyond the point of repair.

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Who pays for debts made during the Marriage?
Parties should agree which of them will pay each of their joint debts. Even so, your agreement (and even the decree of the court) is binding only between you and your spouse. Creditors are not required to honor the apportionment of joint debts in the Decree of Divorce or agreement. Thus, if the spouse who is supposed to pay fails to do so, the creditors may seek payment from the other spouse. Then he or she has to try to collect the money from the one who was supposed to pay. Even so, you should write to each of the creditors and put them on notice as to your divorce.

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What is the difference between no-fault divorce and uncontested divorce?
An uncontested divorce is a matter of agreement between spouses, whereas no-fault divorce pertains to the grounds for the divorce.

An uncontested divorce is one in which both spouses agree on the grounds for the divorce, the economic settlement arrangements, and matters concerning the children.

In no-fault divorce, it is not necessary to prove that one partner was guilty of marital misconduct. The grounds are normally separation, irreconcilable differences, and irretrievable breakdown.

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Can I change my child's name upon divorce?
A child's name may be changed by court petition when it is in the best interest of the child to do so. The court will consider the length of time the father's name has been used, the strength of the mother-child relationship, and the need of the child to identify with a new family unit (if the change involves remarriage) and balance these factors against the strength and importance of the father-child relationship.

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How is property divided, including retirement funds?
In most states, accrued or vested retirement benefits earned during the marriage are community property and subject to division in divorce, with each spouse entitled to half. The retirement benefits which are subject to this community property application include military pensions, veterans educational benefits, ERISA funds, IRAs, Keoghs, Employee Stock Option Plans (ESOPS), 401K plans, but do not include railroad retirement benefits, social security payments, compensation for military injuries, and worker's compensation disability awards.

The issue of retirement benefits should be settled one way or the other and included in the petition, marital settlement agreement and judgment per a spouse’s waiver of retirement benefits or the division of any such benefits. A spouse should waive retirement benefits only if that spouse's share is worth very little.

Benefits may be divided per (1) the present-day valuation buy-out (where the present-day value of the retirement benefit is converted into cash or other assets of equal value), or (2) division into two accounts. To determine the value of stock option and pension plans, it may be worth the $150-300 paid to a professional pension actuary or appraiser.

If the retirement account is to be divided upon divorce, special attention must be paid so that the tax advantages of retirement benefits are not lost. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) will be required to transfer a share of retirement funds from the spouse participating in the retirement plan to the other spouse. Please contact the retirement plan administrator or a qualified attorney for more information regarding QDROs.

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When can I remarry after divorce?
In most states, you can get married the day your divorce decree is made final. In the few states that do set a time limit, the period is not very long, but you would have to check the laws in your state to determine whether or not there is any restriction on your remarriage.

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