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What Is a Divorce Affidavit?

Proceedings to end a marriage are initiated by filing a divorce affidavit.
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  • Written By: Amanda Dean
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 11 April 2014
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A divorce affidavit is a legal document filed by parties wishing to dissolve their marriages. Forms for this document vary across states and jurisdictions. The document is usually considered to be a statement made under oath and must be witnessed and notarized. During the divorce process, many affidavit forms may be required of both the plaintiff and defendant. The affidavit of divorce may be completed by the filing party or an attorney, but signing the document declares that all information on the form is correct and complete.

The initial legal document that initiates divorce proceedings may be called a divorce affidavit, a letter of complaint, or an original petition for divorce. This document is filed by the plaintiff, known in some jurisdictions as the petitioner, in a local court. This document will state a reason for separation such as “irreconcilable differences,” and begin disclosure on legal considerations for the divorce. The defendant or respondent may respond with another affidavit of divorce form.

Although forms vary by jurisdiction, some fields are relatively standard on the divorce affidavit. The plaintiff must attest that he or she believes there is no chance of reconciliation for the marriage. Most jurisdictions offer no-fault divorces, but if the plaintiff is requesting an absolute divorce he must describe the marriage's issues on this document. The divorce affidavit also includes information about the children of the couple and gives an initial request for custody and support considerations.

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The plaintiff must also disclose mutual property of the divorcing couple in the affidavit of divorce. Most states grant property equally, but the court has the authority to define which items are awarded to each party. The petitioner may request property considerations. Similarly, the divorce affidavit serves as a formal request for spousal support.

Once the initial affidavit has been filed, other legal disclosures may be required by the court. A financial affidavit or a military affidavit form may be required. These forms are also considered affidavits because they imply an oath of truth and must be witnessed and notarized. Once filed, all of these forms should be kept secure with other important family documents.

Divorces are usually tried under the purview of family courts. Divorce forms can usually be found on state and regional web pages or by visiting the divorce court. A divorce affidavit is a first step toward dissolving a marriage. The divorce is not final until a judge reviews all affidavits, hears arguments from the divorcing couple, and grants an official judgment of divorce.

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Discuss this Article

umbra21
Post 3

Filing for divorce must really feel awful. I've never had to do that, but I have had situations where I've committed to something and had to withdrawn after a while because it wasn't working.

But having your actions directly affect someone else who you probably still care about at least a little bit must be very hard, particularly if you end up having to describe why you want the divorce on the legal papers.

lluviaporos
Post 2

@pastanaga - I think that it should be easy in some cases, such as when there are no children involved and when both people are happy to do it (especially if it hasn't been long established) but unfortunately divorce can be used to harm people just as much as marriage can.

Matters of property are complicated, particularly since you're almost never going to get an equal split down the middle of what people have contributed to it.

And when there are children involved, you have to admit that they have human rights as well. A quick divorce without due consideration of them can be devastating.

I think it's a good thing to slow down the process which that's by complicated divorce papers or other legal hoops.

pastanaga
Post 1

I really wish that divorce was less complicated. I think it's a lot like a human rights issue that some people are forced to jump through hoops in order to get divorced.

I mean, it's basically just a legal contract. I know people like to get wrapped up in the religious or spiritual side of things, but when it comes down to it you just agreed to sign this person into your family and now you want to sign them out. Why should that be difficult?

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