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Divorce in Puerto Rico

The decision to get a divorce is not one that most people come to easily. If you have reached the point where you want to end your marriage, chances are you have already experienced your fair share of stress. Now that you have made your choice, you want to find the easiest way you can to get divorced. Fortunately, filing for divorce in Puerto Rico can be fairly straightforward, especially if you are seeking an uncontested divorce – one where you and your spouse agree on all aspects of the divorce, including property division and child custody. You only need to fill out the divorce papers required in Puerto Rico and submit them to the court to begin.

CompleteCase.com makes the process of uncontested divorce in Puerto Rico even easier online. With our service you get the divorce papers required for your specific circumstances. No guessing and no worrying about whether you are doing it right.

If you and your spouse are having difficulty reaching agreements on important divorce-related issues, such as property division, you may find it useful to meet with a divorce mediator. Mediation in Puerto Rico lets you work with a professional mediator to come to decisions that you and your spouse can both be satisfied with. Mediation is a good way to avoid the cost of a long court battle.

The following information will help you understand the basics of filing for divorce in Puerto Rico. With this information and the proper divorce documents, you can begin moving forward with your own divorce as soon as you are ready.

Puerto Rico Divorce Facts

According to the Wall Street Journal, the divorce rate in Puerto Rico was 3.3 for every 1,000 residents in 2008. This rate puts Puerto Rico somewhere in the middle of divorce rates compared to states in the U.S.

You or your spouse must be a resident of Puerto Rico for at least one year before you are allowed to file for divorce.

Puerto Rico accepts a number of different fault-based grounds for divorce, including adultery. It also accepts the standards no-fault ground of marriage breakdown, known in Puerto Rico as Mutual Consent. No-fault grounds are typically more popular, as they avoid the need to prove fault for a divorce and usually lead to faster and less expensive divorces.

Puerto Rico Divorce Papers and Forms

The divorce papers you complete and and submit to the court can vary based on your circumstances, such as if you and your spouse are seeking an uncontested versus a contested divorce, or if you have minor children together. If you are uncertain about which forms you need to fill out, you may find it helpful to contact your local court clerk.You can also review the court website for the Tribunal de Primera Instancia, the court that handles divorce related matters. The information is in Spanish.

The process of finding online divorce forms for Puerto Rico is not necessarily easy, which is why so many people choose to get their divorce papers online from CompleteCase.com.  At CompleteCase you do not have to worry about filling out the wrong forms, or completing those forms incorrectly. You know that you are getting the forms you need for your situation, and that those forms will be filled out right from the beginning. This can help you prevent unnecessary costs or delays in your divorce process.

How to File Divorce Papers in Puerto Rico

When you have completed your divorce papers for Puerto Rico you will need to make at least two copies of each document. You will need one copy to file with the court, one copy to serve to your spouse and one to keep for your records. The court will also charge a fee for filing your paperwork. You should contact the court ahead of time to verify that you are bringing all the correct paperwork, and that you have the fee in a payment form that is accepted by the court.

Once you have everything ready, you can go to the Tribunal de Primera Instancia in your area and file your paperwork. Once you have paid the fee and submitted your documents, the court clerk can tell you what to expect next. What happens in your case can vary depending on a number of circumstances, so it is advisable to ask the clerk if there is anything else you need to do to move the case forward.

How to Serve Divorce Papers in Puerto Rico

In most cases you will need to serve the divorce documents to your spouse to complete your filing. “Serving” just means delivering the documents to your spouse so he or she has the opportunity to respond. In Puerto Rico you are not allowed to serve the divorce papers yourself. You must use someone over 18 who is not involved in the divorce. Some people choose to use a friend or family member, but if you do this you should be sure that the person will serve the papers as intended. Without service the divorce cannot be completed.

You can also hire a private process server, a company that specializes in delivering court documents. The private process server will cost some money to use, but you have the benefit of knowing that a professional is ensuring that your important documents make it to their destination.

Once the papers have been served you need the individual who served the documents to complete an “Affidavit of Service” a form that demonstrates that the papers were served in accordance with the law. You will take this affidavit and file it with the court to complete the filing process. In Puerto Rico all divorce cases are heard before a judge, whether they are Mutual Consent cases or fault-based cases. You can expect to meet with a judge and your spouse before the court will finalize the divorce.

Do you qualify for an online divorce?

Do you know the location of your spouse?
Is your spouse in agreement regarding this divorce and willing to sign the divorce papers with you?
Do you and your spouse have any children under the age of 18 from this marriage?