Petition for divorce 2023 (guide + free sample)

This post covers everything you need to know about petition for divorce

A petition for divorce is a primary document for seeking a divorce order from the court.

A valid marriage can only be brought to the end through the court process and those processes are initiated through a formal petition for divorce that is alternatively known as a divorce complaint or dissolution petition.

Here I will take you through

  • What is the petition for divorce
  • Contents of petition for divorce
  • legal considerations for the petition for divorce
  • petition for divorce sample
  • etc.

let’s get started

What is the Petition for Divorce?

The petition of divorce is a legal document that is filled in the court of competent jurisdiction (in the county court where you are a resident) by a person who seeks to divorce his/her spouse to initiate the divorce process.

This document contains facts that show that the spouse has no intention to proceed with their marriage hence the divorce.

These facts technically know as grounds for divorce.

A divorce petition not only ends the marriage legally, but also handles issues like who gets to keep the house, who will manage child custody, who will pay child support and alimony, who will get specific assets, and how debts will be settled.

The spouse who seeks a divorce is called the petitioner and the other who responds is called the respondent.

It is worth noting that, the court is not there to break your marriage but to protect it. Thus, when you seek a divorce make sure you have strong reasons to do so.

Contents of  Petition for Divorce

The following are the basic contents of a petition for divorce

  1. The title of the document i.e PETITION FOR DIVORCE
  2. Proper court citation, for example IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF [COUNTY] OF [STATE].
  3. Name and addresses of spouses. You must be a resident or  have a domicile in the country that you apply for divorce (at least you have stayed more than one year)
  4. Date and place of marriage
  5. Children and properties obtained during the marriage
  6. Any agreement regarding the maintenance or the division of any assets acquired through the joint efforts of the parties
  7. Evidence to show that the marriage has broken down irreparably and efforts to repair proves futile (irreconcilable differences” or “no fault” conditions.)
  8. Reliefs that you seek from the court are technically known as ‘prayers’

Legal Requirement of Valid Petition for Divorce

The following are the legal requirements of the petition for a divorce

  1. Must be dated, and signed by the petitioner
  2. It must be notarized
  3. Must be filled in the court of competent jurisdiction
  4. Must be served on the other party
  5. It must contain the evidence that shows your marriage has broken down irreparably.
  6. Must contain prayers
  7. Failure to comply with these requirements renders your application incompetent

NB: the legal requirements of a petition for divorce vary from state to state. For specific state requirements, I advice you to loof for legal assistance from an Attorney in your state.

Petition For Divorce Sample

The following is the petition for divorce sample

PETITION FOR DIVORCE

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF [COUNTY] OF [STATE], THE JUDICIAL DISTRICT

In RE: The marriage of

NAME OF PETITIONER of ADRESS OF PETITIONER

AND

NAME OF RESPONDENT of ADRESS OF RESPONDENT

PETITON FOR DIVORCE

This action is brought by the petitioner

CASE:

AND IN THE INTEREST OF ANY MINOR CHILDREN

NAME OF CHILD, AGE, of ADRESS, whose social security number is [#]

The Petitioner hereinabove named states as follows:

  1. That the petitioner is an adult A resident of ……………………….. for preceding [years], [months] and his address of service for purposes of this Petition is:………
  2. That the marriage between the petitioner and the respondent was contracted on………………and has been blessed with one issue, to wit, ……………………………… having been born on the ………….. day of ………………, …………………….
  3. That during the marriage the petitioner and the respondent jointly acquired the following properties 1. ………………………… 2. ………………. 3. ……………….
  4. That honest to their conscience the parties herein resolved that their marriage has broken down irreparably. Copy of a Separation Agreement dated ……………………… to that effect duly authenticated by both the parties is annexed hereto marked “……………………” and the petitioner craves for leave of the Court to refer to it as part of this petition.
  5. On the premises the petitioner avers categorically that this marriage to the respondent has irreparably broken down.
  6. That both the petitioner and the Respondent reside in …………………… and that the cause of action arose within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court.

WHEREFORE the petitioner prays for the following orders:

  • the declaration that the marriage has broken down irreparably.
  • An order to dissolve the marriage and a decree for divorce be granted.
  •  Division of matrimonial property
  •  Child maintenance and custody
  • Any other relief this Honourable Court deems fit to grant.

DATED at ……………… this ……………….. day of …………………, ………………….

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

On this ________________, before me, the undersigned, a Notary Public for said State, personally appeared A, personally known to me or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the individual whose name is subscribed to the within the instrument and acknowledged to me that he executed the same in his capacity and that his signature on the instrument, the individual, or person upon behalf of which the individual acted, executed the instrument.

WITNESS my hand and official seal.

_________________

(NOTARY SIGNATURE)

My Commission Expires: _________________

See also

Isack Kimaro
Isack Kimaro

Editor-in-chief and founder of sherianajamii.com. Holder of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) and Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. Lawyer by profession and blogger by passion