Filing for divorce generally includes (1) filing the necessary paperwork with the appropriate state or county court; (2) paying the filing fee; and (3) having the paperwork properly served on (handed to) your spouse—known as service of process.
This paperwork generally consists of a complaint or petition that includes the names of the spouses, the grounds for the divorce (fault or no-fault), whether there are children involved in the marriage, and whether the spouse is seeking child custody, child support, or spousal support.
A spouse generally may file for divorce in the state and county in which the spouse resides—or in which the other spouse resides. In many states the spouse must have lived in the state or county for a specified period of time before filing for divorce. Laws regarding this residency requirement and where a lawsuit for divorce may be filed vary from state to state and with circumstances in which the spouses share minor children.
Laws regarding the requirements for filing for divorce are usually located in a state’s statutes—often in the family code or domestic relations code.