Divorce, do you need to go to court to file? The answer unfortunately is yes. You need to file a complaint for divorce and if it's an agreement, it would be called a joint petition for divorce. Along with this, you need to submit some related paperwork, including a separation agreement which is essentially a divorce agreement. In addition to filing the necessary forms and paying a $215 filing fee, you will also have to request an uncontested court date. Both you and your spouse must appear in front of a judge. This process is generally simple and painless but still requires a court appearance. During this appearance, the judge will conduct a colloquy with you to ensure that you understand the proceedings. The judge will also inquire about important details such as the date of marriage, when the marriage irretrievably broke down, and whether there are minor children involved. Additionally, the judge will assess the fairness and reasonableness of the agreement, making sure it was entered into willingly and with understanding. It is important to note that each party has the right to hire their own attorney or seek legal advice. The judge ultimately needs to approve the agreement, and while uncontested hearings are generally favored by the court, there are technical aspects that require approval. The judge also needs to determine if the agreement is fair, reasonable, and free from any fraud or duress. Once the judge approves the agreement, the divorce is allowed on that day. However, it does not become final or absolute for 120 days. You will receive a copy of the judgment for divorce in the mail, which marks the final and absolute date of the divorce, 120 days from the court appearance.
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