Se habla español
Getting divorced is never easy and you have probably heard similar sentiments from those who have gone through it. If you’ve arrived at this point, you’ve likely been through your fair share of stress and want to move forward as easily – and hopefully as inexpensively – as possible. Fortunately, the state of Montana makes getting divorced straightforward, especially if you meet the requirements for an uncontested divorce – where you and your spouse agree on all issues like child custody and support (if you have children) and property division. In this situation, you may qualify to complete your divorce on your own and without a lawyer. If you’re doing your own divorce, you’ll only need to fill out the appropriate Montana divorce papers and submit them to your county court to begin the process.
CompleteCase.com makes the proces of uncontested divorce simple and inexpensive. Our online divorce paper preparation service provides the forms required for Montana and helps to ensure that they are completed fully and accurately.
If you and your spouse are not able to reach agreement on important divorce related issues, you may want to seek a mediated divorce. For more substantial and unresolvable challenges, you should consider hiring the services of a divorce attorney.
The following information is here to help you understand the basics of divorce in Montana, and how you can begin to move forward with your own divorce.
In 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the divorce rate in Montana was 4 for every 1,000 residents in the state. This rate puts Montana somewhere in the middle among state divorce rates.
Montana requires that you have been a resident in the state for at least 90 days before you can file for divorce. In addition, you and your spouse must live apart for more than 180 days before you are allowed to file for your divorce. Montana refers to divorce as “dissolution of marriage” and only grants no-fault divorces. In a no-fault divorce, you do not have to place blame on either party for the divorce, you only need to cite that the marriage is broken and cannot be fixed.
The specific divorce papers you complete for your Montana divorce may vary depending on what county you file in and the circumstances of your divorce – such as if you and your spouse have minor children or not. You should always contact the clerk in the county where you will be filing to verify that you are completing all required documents. Some of the common divorce documents in Montana include the “Petition for Dissolution (with or without children” and the “Summons”.
The Montana Judicial Branch has a website that provides detailed information about divorce in the state and includes a variety of divorce forms. It is recommended that you read as much as you can about divorce in your state before your proceed, so it is a good idea to go over the site thoroughly, along with any other resources you can find. The more you know about the divorce process, the better you can look after your interests. Try your best to be patient and avoid getting overwhelmed. The number of divorce forms available and legal language used can be confusing for most people especially if you have no legal training, much of this will be new to you.
To avoid confusion and potentially costly mistakes, many people in Montana find it easier to get their divorce papers online from CompleteCase.com. With our service you’ll get the peace of mind that comes with our assistance when choosing and completing the right divorce papers quickly, and easily.
After you’ve completed the required divorce papers in Montana, online or otherwise, you will need to print and make at least two copies of all forms. You will need one set of documents to file with the clerk, one for your records and one to serve to your spouse. Be sure to avoid signing the papers until you are in the presence of a notary public, as the court only accepts notarized documents. Most courts will provide a notary service when you file, but you should verify its availability before you go to the court.
You’ll also want to verify with the court that you are bringing all you need to complete the filing, including a form of payment for the state filing fee. You may be able to get the fee waived but must ask the clerk if for this service. Once your filing fee is considered paid and all documents present, the clerk will stamp, date and submit them to the court.
To complete the filing process, you will need to “serve” your spouse. Serving simply means giving a copy of the divorce papers to your spouse so he or she is aware of the divorce proceedings, and has a chance to respond.
Montana allows three methods to serve your spouse. You can hire a sheriff to serve the divorce paperwork for a fee. When the papers are served, the sheriff will return a form to you verifying service, which you will then file with the court. If your spouse agrees to accept the papers, you can mail them to him or her. Upon receipt, your spouse will sign and return a “Notice and Acknowledgment” form, which you will file with the court. If you cannot locate your spouse, you can ask the court for permission to publish the divorce notice in a newspaper.
When your spouse has been served the divorce will move forward. If you and your spouse are in agreement on all terms of the divorce, you can expect the court to approve it fairly quickly. If you and your spouse need to go to court to work out the terms of the divorce, it may take much longer to finalize.
I am so glad that I found completecase.com!
It's great to have an option like this when dealing with an amicable, uncomplicated divorce - no need for attorneys when there's nothing to hash out.
The customer service people were very nice and they made a tough time a little easier. They saved me a lot of money and the forms were perfect. I've told several co workers about this service.
I greatly appreciate the convenience and simplicity of the service provided by
I will recommend it to anyone of my friends or associates who are in need of a similar service.
It's great to have an option like this when dealing with an amicable, uncomplicated divorce - no need for attorneys when there's nothing to hash out.
By Deborah Sharp, USA TODAY
Couples can find a mate, fill out a bridal registry and plan a honeymoon on the computer. Now they can also divorce online.
A Web site started last year by a Seattle attorney gives the unhappily wed in Washington, California, Florida and New York the option of dissolving their marriages online. Texas is next, and several other states are being considered.
The site is the latest twist in a do-it-yourself trend. Changing trends in the USA Average age of first marriage Divorce year male female Divorced Americans Divorces granted 1970 23.2 20.8 4.3 million 0.7 million 2000 26.8 25.1 19.9 million 1.2 million Sources: U.S. Census; National Center for Health Statistics
No national figures exist on self-representation. But some experts estimate that as many as half of 1.2 million couples divorcing annually in the USA do so without a lawyer representing at least one of the parties.
The Web site, www.completecase.com, differs from the many self-help sites offering advice, referrals or downloads of documents needed to file for divorce in a particular state.
For $249, the Web site prompts couples with questions on everything from dividing financial assets to deciding where the kids celebrate birthdays. The software then uses their answers to fill out the documents that a couple can download and submit to a court.
Requirements vary by locale as to whether a couple must show up in court or can mail in or fax their divorce filing. But in all cases, a judge must still sign the order ending a marriage.
Randy Finney, a family law attorney for 11 years and the founder of the Web site, says it was designed for uncontested divorces. It's not for couples with convoluted finances or for those fighting over child custody and who gets the dog.
"The decision to get a divorce comes way before the decision about how to get a divorce," says Finney, 35, who is happily married. "I don't think anyone takes their wedding vows so frivolously that they're going to get a divorce just because they can do it for $249."
Not everyone is thrilled with the notion of cyber-divorce.
Judges and lawyers fret that couples who use the Web site may believe they've had legal counsel when they haven't. And leaders in the movement to save marriages complain that point-and-click divorce further undermines the institution's supposed sanctity.
"I can only think of one use of the Internet that's worse and that's pornography," says Dennis Rainey, executive director of FamilyLife, a religious group based in Little Rock. "We're trying to do all we can to call people to keep their wedding vows."
FamilyLife has joined with 30 other organizations since 1999 in drawing 175,000 spouses nationwide to "I Still Do" ceremonies that affirm marriage.
Despite the marriage celebrations, about one-fifth of American men and women have been divorced at least once.
A study released last month by the U.S. Census shows about 90% of Americans will marry at some point. For men, 54% married just once. For women, 60%. Serial marriage is rare: Only 3% of Americans have married three times or more; 13% have married twice.
Finney estimates his Web site has helped 1,000 couples unhitch. Stacey Kiss of Seattle is among those who traveled to virtual Splitsville. The self-described "Internet junkie" says it took her and her husband of seven years about three hours one night to click through the Web site's detailed questions.
"We never got along on anything through our entire marriage, but we still managed to come to an agreement," says Kiss, 36, a hospital business-services manager. "Why drag it out and make it complicated?"
She says the online split was cheaper and easier than her first, traditional divorce. Now single, Kiss says she's comfortable with dot-com divorce, but she draws the line at cyber-dating.
"I like surfing the Web," she says, "but not for men."
Ernesto Gomez and his wife Blanca had been planning to get a divorce for three years. They had already separated and worked out custody and child support for their two kids. But they had stalled on filing because they didn't want to deal with the hassle and expense. Hiring a lawyer, they were told, would cost at least $1,500. Using a free service offered by the court would involve numerous meetings spread out over several weeks.
So when Gomez heard an ad on the radio for a service called completecase.com that would let him fill out the paperwork online for just $249, he decided to give it a try. Four days after he logged onto the site, he had the papers completed and filed in court. "CompleteCase gives you step-by-step instructions. You can't miss anything," says Gomez, a distribution-center manager in Miami.
Gomez is not the only one turning to the Internet to simplify the process. Other services, like divorcewizards. com and divorcesyourself.com also offer quickie online divorce kits, usually for $300 or less. No lawyer is involved unless a client chooses to pay extra for a consultation by phone or e-mail.
Brian Lee, president of legalzoom.com says his site has handled more than 30,000 divorces since its launch in 2001. Though people still have to convey their forms to the court, the process of filling out the paperwork can take less than an hour, thanks to simple online questionnaires that hand-hold customers through the process.
Online divorce is not an option if the couple can't agree on the terms. Even when they can, not everyone thinks it's a good idea. "Instant divorce is the last thing we need," says Mike McManus, president of the marriage advocacy group Marriage Savers. Instead of a divorce, McManus says, couples often just need time to cool off before working out their differences.
Still, such services are spreading. Utah and California offer do-it-yourself sites that let you fill the forms out online (for $20 at utcourts.gov/how to; free at www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp) Traffic on the California site rose from 6,800 page views in May 2002 to nearly 17,000 in May 2003. --By Anita Hamilton
The Los Angeles Times; Los Angeles, Calif.; Nov 19, 2001; MARTIN MILLER;
Abstract: Californians can legally split from their spouses over the Web site http://www.completecase.com and never have to set foot in a courthouse or lawyer's office. Legal papers can be completed within anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the complexity of the split, according to Randolph Finney, a Seattle-based family law attorney who founded the site.
For Californians, once the judge signs the documents, they are "legally binding and enforceable," says Finney, but per state law the divorce doesn't become finalized for six months.
Full Text: (Copyright, The Times Mirror Company; Los Angeles Times 2001 All rights reserved)
The circle of online life is now complete. You can date online; you can marry online; and now you can divorce online.
Californians can legally split from their spouses over the Web site http://www.completecase.com and never have to set foot in a courthouse or lawyer's office. Legal papers can be completed within anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the complexity of the split, according to Randolph Finney, a Seattle-based family law attorney who founded the site.
For a flat fee of $249, the site walks divorcing couples step-by- step through such issues as community property and calculating child support payments. When the online form is completed, the applicant simply signs the papers and mails them to the courthouse.
But it's not for everyone. It works only for those couples who are parting amicably and filing for an uncontested divorce. "If you can't agree on who gets the kids, our site is not for you," says Finney, a married 35-year-old.
The site debuted earlier this year, but only to residents of Washington state. Last month, California was added, and soon Florida, New York and Oregon are expected to be added. So far, the site has helped process hundreds of divorces, says Finney.
The site has drawn critics who denounce the online divorce as yet another blow to society's bedrock institutions. The very ease of the process, some contend, makes family and marriage as disposable as an old appliance. Indeed, a similar site in England was recently condemned by the pope as immoral because it made divorce too easy.
Naturally, Finney disagrees. "I think our Web site has the opposite effect," he said. "If you're going to get divorced, let's do it in a civil manner. I really don't believe having something available that makes it easier and costs less money is going to encourage divorce."
The inspiration for the project came from his law practice, where he primarily handles divorces. It took about a year to get the site up and running. "On almost a daily basis, I would get clients who said they needed a divorce but didn't have the money or the patience with the legal process to pursue it," he said. "These people are really stuck between a rock and a hard place."
For Californians, once the judge signs the documents, they are "legally binding and enforceable," says Finney, but per state law the divorce doesn't become finalized for six months. "It isn't quite as fast as a Las Vegas divorce," he says.
Your case registration has been submitted successfully.
The next step in completing your divorce petition is to pay the case processing fee.
After your payment is processed, your personal login will be accessible. Logging in will allow you to answer the additional questions required to complete your divorce.
When completing the online questionnaire, help and explanations are provided for each question. Should you have any questions during the process, you may call our support line to speak with a divorce specialist.
We provide a 100% guarantee that the forms provided by CompleteCase.com will be accepted by the court. If the forms are not accepted due to the fault of CompleteCase.com, we will make any changes requested by the court or judge (without charge), or a refund will be issued. Verification of any denial or rejection may be requested.
Based on the information provided you are not qualified to use CompleteCase.com to complete your divorce online at this time.
We recommend contacting a licensed Family Law attorney to help you with your situation.