What documents are required for a voluntary divorce?

 
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1. What documents are required for a voluntary divorce?

My spouse and I entered into marriage in 2010. Subsequently, I relocated to the United States for work, although I have not obtained U.S. citizenship. At present, our feelings for each other have changed, and my husband has agreed to a mutual divorce. I am interested in understanding the mutual divorce process and whether it's possible for me to be absent during this process. I look forward to your guidance.

2. ACC's Opinion

"Divorce" signifies the termination of the marital relationship through a legally binding judgment or decision issued by the court (as defined in Clause 14, Article 3 of the 2014 Law on Marriage and Family). Either spouse, or both, holds the right to petition the court for divorce (as stipulated in Clause 1, Article 51 of the 2014 Law on Marriage and Family).
Based on the information you have provided, it appears that both you and your husband are in agreement regarding a mutual divorce. Therefore, if both spouses mutually request a divorce and genuinely wish to proceed, and if they have reached a consensus on property division, child care, upbringing, and education while safeguarding the legitimate interests of the wife and children, the court will acknowledge the mutual consent divorce. In cases where the spouses are unable to reach an agreement or their agreement does not adequately protect the legitimate interests of the wife and children, the court will intervene to resolve the divorce (as outlined in Article 55 of the 2014 Law on Marriage and Family).

[1] The documents required for a mutual consent divorce include:

- A petition for the recognition of mutual divorce, child-raising, or property division upon divorce.
- The original marriage certificate.
- Copies of the Family Register and Identity cards.
- Other relevant documents and evidence confirming shared assets, such as land use rights certificates, vehicle registrations, savings account records, etc., if there is an agreement on property division.

[2] Jurisdiction of the Court

In accordance with Clause 2, Article 29, Point b of Clause 2, Article 35, and Clause 3, Article 35 of the 2015 Civil Procedure Code, the People's Courts of provinces have jurisdiction over mutual divorce cases when one of the parties involved is abroad.
Additionally, as specified in Point h, Clause 2, Article 39 of the 2015 Civil Procedure Code: The Court in the jurisdiction where one of the parties to a voluntary divorce, agreed child custody, or property division resides or works shall have the jurisdiction to resolve petitions for the recognition of mutual divorces and agreements on child custody and property division upon divorces.
Therefore, you and your husband can mutually select the People's Court of the province where either of you has registered permanent residence to initiate the recognition of mutual divorce, child-raising, and property division proceedings.

[3] Procedures

The procedures for recognizing mutual divorce, child-raising, and property division upon divorce in accordance with Article 363, Article 365, Article 366 of the 2015 Civil Procedure Code and Article 57 of the 2014 Law on Marriage and Family are as follows:
Step 1: Submit a complete dossier to the People's Court in the province where one of you resides.
Step 2: The competent court will receive the petition. Within three working days from the date of receiving the petition and accompanying materials and evidence, the Chief Justice of the Court will assign a Judge to handle the case. If the petition and accompanying materials and/or evidence meet the necessary criteria for acceptance, the Judge will proceed as follows:
- The Court will notify the petitioner of the required civil matter resolution fees within five working days from the date of receiving the fee notification unless the petitioner is exempted from the fees as prescribed by law.
- The Court will accept the petition once the petitioner submits the receipt of the civil matter resolution fee.
Step 3: Within three working days from the date of acceptance of the petition, the Court will inform the petitioner, individuals with relevant interests and duties concerning the civil matter resolution, and the procuracy of the same level in writing about the acceptance of the petition.
Step 4: The court will prepare for the consideration of applications and schedule a meeting to address the request for the recognition of mutual divorce.
The preparation period for the petition consideration will last for one month from the date of acceptance of the petition. The Court will issue a decision to convene a meeting to consider the application and will hold the meeting within 15 days from the date of issuing the decision.
Step 5: The Court will issue a decision to recognize the mutual divorce.
The marriage and family relations will terminate as of the date when the mutual divorce decision becomes effective.
[4] Absence During Civil Resolution
In accordance with Clause 2, Article 367 of the 2015 Civil Procedure Code:
"Article 367. Participants in Meetings for Resolving Civil Matters
...

3. The petitioner, their legal representatives, or defense counsels representing their rights and interests must participate in the meeting as summoned by the court.

If the petitioner is absent for the first time, the Court will postpone the meeting unless the petitioner requests the Court to proceed with the civil matter resolution in their absence. If the petitioner has been duly summoned twice but remains absent, they will be considered to have waived their petition. The Court will issue a decision to terminate the resolution of the civil matters. In this case, the right to request the Court to resolve the civil matter in accordance with the procedures outlined in this Code will still be guaranteed."
Therefore, if you are unable to attend the divorce resolution session, you have the option to submit a written request to the Court, requesting the resolution of the civil matter in your absence. Consequently, you will not be required to participate in the divorce resolution session, and the Court will proceed to recognize the mutual divorce between you and your spouse.
This response represents the opinion of ACC Group related to your inquiry, and we trust that it will be of assistance to you.

Q&A

Question 1: What are the essential documents required for a voluntary divorce?

Answer 1: The essential documents required for a voluntary divorce may include:
Divorce Petition: This is the formal request to the court to initiate the divorce process, outlining the reasons for seeking divorce and the desired outcomes.
Marriage Certificate: Proof of the marriage is typically necessary for divorce proceedings.
Financial Disclosure Forms: Documents detailing your financial situation, including income, assets, debts, and expenses, are crucial for property division and support determinations.
Child Custody and Support Forms: If there are children involved, forms outlining child custody arrangements, visitation schedules, and child support calculations are essential.

Question 2: Do the required documents for a voluntary divorce vary by jurisdiction?

Answer 2: Yes, the required documents for a voluntary divorce can vary by jurisdiction. Different states, countries, or provinces may have specific forms and documentation requirements for divorce filings. It's crucial to consult with an attorney or review the laws and regulations in your jurisdiction to ensure you are using the correct documents and following the proper procedures.

Question 3: Are there additional documents needed for specific circumstances in a voluntary divorce?

Answer 3: Yes, additional documents may be needed for specific circumstances in a voluntary divorce. For example:
Property Settlement Agreement: If spouses have reached an agreement on property division, a legally binding agreement may be required.
Spousal Support Agreement: If spousal support (alimony) is involved, a formal agreement outlining the terms may be necessary.
Parenting Plan: A detailed parenting plan may be required for child custody arrangements.
Retirement Account QDRO: If dividing retirement accounts, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) may be necessary to facilitate the division.
The specific documents required can depend on the unique circumstances of the divorce, and it's advisable to consult with an attorney who can guide you through the process.

Question 4: Can online divorce services assist with the preparation of the required documents for a voluntary divorce?

Answer 4: Yes, many online divorce services offer assistance with the preparation of required documents for a voluntary divorce. These services often provide templates and guides to help individuals complete the necessary paperwork accurately. However, it's crucial to ensure that the online service is reputable and tailored to your specific jurisdiction's laws and requirements to avoid potential issues during the divorce process. Consulting with an attorney is also advisable to ensure the documents meet legal standards.

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