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What Documents are Required to File for a Divorce by Law Offices of Robert E. O'Connor

Going through a divorce is legally complex and emotionally taxing. Be prepared to gather various documents required for divorce to ensure the process goes smoothly. Here’s a look at everything you need.

Petition for Divorce

Also known as the complaint, the petition for divorce is the initial document you file to start the divorce process. It is a formal request to the court to dissolve your marriage. ​This document includes essential information about both spouses, including names, addresses, marriage details, and the grounds for divorce.


A summons accompanies the petition for divorce. This document notifies your spouse that you have initiated divorce proceedings and gives them a chance to respond. It contains information about the response timeline and the court handling the case.

Financial Statements

Both parties must provide a financial statement outlining the following information:

  • Income
  • Expenses
  • Taxes
  • Real estate property and mortgages
  • Vehicle titles and auto loans
  • Credit card debt
  • Bank accounts
  • Retirement funds
  • Insurance policies
  • Business records
  • Any other assets or debts

All information must be provided, whether the couple owns an asset or owes a debt individually or jointly. The court uses this information to help determine issues related to alimony, child support, and property division.

Child-Related Documents

If minor children are involved, additional documentation is necessary:

  • Your child’s birth certificate is used to confirm their identity and age.
  • A parenting plan outlines custody arrangements, visitation schedules, and decision-making responsibilities for the children.
  • Child support worksheets calculate the financial support required based on both parents’ incomes and the child’s needs.

Marriage Certificate

A certified copy of your marriage certificate proves your marriage is valid and can therefore be dissolved. This document is usually obtained from the county or city where the marriage occurred.

Legal Documents and Agreements

If you and your spouse signed a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, these should be included in your filing. These documents outline the terms agreed upon by both parties regarding the division of assets and other important matters in case of divorce.

Proof of Residency

Most states require proof of residency when filing for divorce to ensure the case is filed in the correct jurisdiction. Acceptable forms of proof include a state-issued driver’s license, utility bills with your name and address, or housing documents.

Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage

The final document in the divorce process is the certificate of dissolution of marriage. This is completed once the court has approved the divorce and serves as proof that the marriage has been legally dissolved.

Speak with a Divorce Lawyer

A speedy, low-stress divorce requires careful preparation and thorough documentation. The Law Offices of Robert E. O’Connor, P.C. offers legal support to ensure your case is handled professionally. Mr. O’Connor is a knowledgeable divorce lawyer serving Delaware County and Chester County for over 25 years. Contact us today at (610) 566-1110 to schedule a free consultation at our Media, PA office. We’ll help you through this challenging time with expert legal guidance and support.