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What are the basic steps of a divorce without children?

Steps for a Basic Divorce (No Minor Children)

The person filing for divorce (Petitioner) must serve the other party (Respondent) a copy of the following:

1. Summons; and

2. Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, Legal Separation, or Paternity;

Ways to serve the Respondent:

1. Certified Mail sent by the Family Relations Court Clerk – the green card returned by the Post Office must be signed and filed to show proof of service, or

2. Sheriff’s Department – the Sheriff’s Department will file a return of service, or

3. Private Process Server – the Private Process Server will file a return of service, or

4. A Waiver of Service can be signed by the Respondent and filed. The Respondent

MUST wait 24 hours after the Petition is filed before the waiver can be signed and


Both parties MUST:

1. Exchange Temporary Order Financial Declaration form;

2. All documents pursuant to Local Rule DR 5;

3. Exchange insurance information; and

4. Show proof of bankruptcy. If applicable.

If both parties AGREE or do not contest:

1. If the Respondent signs a Waiver of Service, the Petitioner may request an

Agreed Dissolution/Legal Separation on or after the 11th day of filing the petition;

2. If the Respondent is served and does NOT file a response within 20 days, the

Petitioner may request a Default Dissolution/Legal Separation on or after the 21st

day of filing the petition.

Information if both parties AGREE or do not Contest:

1. The Petitioner MUST wait the appropriate time frame (stated above) from the time the petition or waiver was filed;

2. If the paperwork is in order, the parties may see the Judge.

3. The following documentation is required (one original and two copies):

a. Dissolution of Marriage (signed by both parties if necessary);

b. Bankruptcy paperwork (only if either party filed bankruptcy in the last 6 years) that shows:

i. Bankruptcy has been DISCHARGED and;

ii. The case is CLOSED (these are two different documents).

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