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.
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.