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Step Two: Fill out the forms

Next, you need to fill out the forms you got from the court (or online). The Divorce Information Sheet is at the front of the forms packet - it gives you some important information. Read it carefully.

Here are some helpful tips about filling out these forms:

  • If you're filing for divorce, you are the "Plaintiff." Your spouse is the "Defendant"
  • If you cannot fill out the forms by yourself, find out if there is a Courthouse Assistance Program (CHAP) in your local court and when you can meet with them. Get an updated CHAP scheduled here. Or ask the court clerk about the CHAP schedule in your court.
  • If you want your address and phone number on court papers to be kept private because you are afraid of your spouse,

    go here to read about what to do.

  • You can “file” papers with the court by delivering them to the court clerk or sending them in the mail. The court clerk will give you the mailing address. Or find court mailing addresses here. File originals of all papers, including the summons, with the court.
  • When you file any paper with the court, always mail a copy to your spouse, or their lawyer, if they have one.
  • Make copies of your court papers for yourself. You may be able to do this at low-cost at your local library or town office. Put them in one file. Take that file to court every time you go. It is also a good idea to keep dated notes about what is happening. This will help you remember things like when you talked to the Clerk and when you mailed or filed papers.

More Common Questions

Q. What do I put on the complaint form as "grounds" for divorce?

Q. If I am afraid of the other party, do I have to say where I am living when I fill out the court forms?