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.