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Where Are Divorce Papers Filed?

Where Are Divorce Papers Filed?

So, you’re dying to know about the process involved in filing divorce papers. It can’t be that hard, can it? Not only that, but where do you go to get these papers filed? Stay tuned, because you’re soon going to find out.

The Process of Filing Divorce Papers

The woman-based resource provides an in-depth explanation of how this significant first step in the divorce process plays out across the United States of America. If a woman initiates the filing of the divorce (or vice-versa) the majority of U.S. states mandate that one or sometimes both qualify for residency requirements. This ensures that the state can have jurisdiction over the divorce.

Things get a tad complicated when both parties reside in different states. But according to Pozsik & Carpenter, LLC, divorce laywers in Columbia SC, it’s possible to file in either of those states as well, even though the divorce is only taking place in one state.

Go See the Clerk

Within each American state, individual counties (in many instances) have jurisdiction over divorce cases. To file the papers, both parties (whenever possible) must go to the county courthouse and speak to the courthouse clerk. Let’s say you’re a woman whose husband is abusive or has ruined the marriage with his drinking or infidelity. After you’ve spent time filing the divorce papers and getting the petition started, your spouse is then served with a copy of said petition.

What Is a Divorce Petition? Also known as the infamous "divorce papers", these negative letters (or positive, depending whether you’re on the receiving end or not) must be served to the spouse whom you’re unhitching from. The initial phase of the petition is known as the "service of process".

Getting the Divorce Papers

Take a trip to the county clerk’s office. You have to meet with the county clerk who will answer your questions and determine if you have all of the proper forms. It must be noted, however, that the clerk’s office is solely for this aspect of the divorce process and he/she cannot provide you with legal information or counselling.

Technology has helped to make this process a bit smoother. There are websites for state and county governments that feature links to downloadable forms for filing for divorce. It’s quite common for county clerk’s offices to have forms that you can retrieve in person. They can also be mailed or emailed to you. Specific forms vary between states, so it’s your responsibility to check what your state’s requirements are.

Before filing the necessary forms, find out from the clerk’s office how many copies of the papers you will need (the court also keeps copies). You will be required to file a specific number of related documents that go along with the original ones.

Different States, Different Laws

Let’s examine how the rules vary across the country. For the purposes of this article, we’ll look at two states.


Like everywhere else in the nation, there’s plenty of marital disharmony and divorce in California. If you live in the Golden State, log in to the California courts website. There you will be given instructions on how to start the filing process and get the forms you’ll need. You can even find the courthouse in your region that will handle the matter.

The Los Angeles County Superior Court website also includes an index that has divorce forms.

North Carolina

To be eligible to file for divorce in North Carolina, you must be separated from your spouse for one year. The second requirement is to be a resident for a period of no less than six months. Like other states, North Carolina deals with divorce by county. These two states are good examples of what you can expect when starting the divorce process, but the particular do vary from state to state, so make sure you understand everything that is needed in your state before you file. This will save you time and avoid the possibility of having to repeat your work.