Divorce documents are the legal basis for obtaining a divorce. They contain all the information necessary for the court to dissolve the marriage. Working with divorce papers is essential because it can affect the speed and success of a marriage termination. Below you will find general information regarding forms in Mississippi.
Preparing Divorce Forms in Mississippi
In the event of an uncontested dissolution, spouses can make documents without the assistance of a lawyer, and also independently represent their interests in court. It is known as DIY divorce and is entirely legal. However, spouses are fully responsible for the papers that they submit to the court. Therefore, it is worth remembering that any errors can lead to severe delays in obtaining a divorce.
On the Internet, you can find many services that help spouses prepare papers. It’s about online divorce. Simply put, this is a website where spouses must answer questions about their marriage. Based on the answers the spouses provide, the system will select and fill out the appropriate forms. The price of such services is different and mainly depends on the chosen company. But still, it’s cheaper than lawyer’s fees
Also, spouses can download blanks and fill them out on their own, and this is entirely free. But it increases the likelihood of making a mistake, especially if they don’t have a legal background.
Filing Divorce Forms in Mississippi
The spouse who files the forms is called the plaintiff, while the other party is the defendant. And, at the time of filing the claim, one of the spouses must be a state resident for at least six months and live in the county where the case will be handled. Before going to court, it is essential to make several copies of all the papers. Forms must be provided to the court clerk. If he is convinced that they are composed correctly, he will accept them and open the case and put stamps on copies that must be sent to the defendant. Also, in the filing process, the plaintiff will need to pay a court fee, which averages $52. But, it may vary depending on the county and the conditions of the divorce.
Divorce Forms in Mississippi
Each case has its own characteristics and nuances, so it is worth noting that each marriage dissolution is unique. It means that there is no single package of documents that is suitable for absolutely all couples. Of course, it’s possible to settle the key forms that are used in each case, for example, the Divorce Complaint. But, depending on the situation, the court may require the preparation of additional papers.
Below is a list of the most commonly filed divorce forms in Mississippi:
- Bill of Complaint for Divorce — a form that defines the parties of the action, grounds for dissolution, as well as the main provisions of the divorce.
- Marital Settlement Agreement — a document that contains the settlement of any contentious issues of dissolution, including the separation of property and custody. Both spouses must sign papers.
- Verification — confirms the truth of the complaint.
- Financial Disclosure Statements — a form that reflects the income and expenses of each spouse, thereby showing the financial position of the parties. Each spouse must submit this document.
- Child Support Guidelines — a form that contains calculation regarding child support.
- Affidavit Regarding the Children — determines the place of residence of the child, as well as the provisions of custody.
- Child Support Computation Worksheet — a form that contains calculations of child’s support amount based on state regulations.
- Acknowledgment, Acceptance of Service and Appearance — forms that are used for an uncontested divorce and must be filed when the defendant refuses from the standard way of serving.
- Request for Hearing — a form by which spouses ask the court to schedule the date of the hearing.
- Notice of Hearing — notice received by the defendant regarding the hearing.
- Waiver form — a document by which the plaintiff asks the judge to waive the filing fee because he or she isn’t able to pay it.
- Decree of Divorce — this is the final form that the judge signs, and it ends the marriage.
It is also worth considering that forms vary by county. You can check with the court clerk what papers are needed to be filled out in your case.
Serving Divorce Forms
After the court accepts the case, the plaintiff must provide the defendant with copies of the papers. If the defendant agrees, the plaintiff can simply transfer copies to him or her personally or to a lawyer. Thus, the defendant abandons the standard method of service, which makes divorce faster.
If the defendant refuses to accept the papers, the plaintiff can use the services of the sheriff of the county where the second party lives. The sheriff will inform the county clerk after the defendant receives the papers.
You can also use the services of a process server or any person who is over 18 years old and is not involved in a divorce. It is allowed to send papers by mail, but on condition that the defendant picks them up.
If the defendant is missing, the plaintiff can serve the spouse by publishing a notice in a local newspaper. The message should be published once a week during the established period.