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Pennsylvania Divorce Forms
This is a list of the most commonly filed divorce forms for the state of Pennsylvania. Following the list is a brief summary of each form and its purpose. This list of forms is not exhaustive and not all forms listed are required for every divorce. Due to unique case situations and special divorce filing procedures in Pennsylvania, certain forms may or may not be required by the Pennsylvania courts.
Civil Cover Sheet
The Civil Cover Sheet identifies the parties and the legal action -- divorce. Completed when the Complaint is filed and assigned a docket number to the action, this form is used in most counties except Philadelphia, which uses a Domestic Relations Information Sheet.
Domestic Relations Information Sheet
In Philadelphia County, the Domestic Relations Information Sheet provides basic information about the spouses and their children, if any.
Notice to Defend and Claim Rights
In most counties, the Notice to Defend and Claim Rights warns the Defendant that a failure to respond means a Default Judgment may be entered against him or her. The Notice is a Summons, and it informs the Defendant that if he or she does not file a claim for alimony, division of property, lawyer's fees or expenses before a divorce or annulment is granted, he or she may lose the right to claim them.
Complaint for Divorce
In most counties this one-page form identifies the parties. The Complaint for Divorce states that the marriage is "irretrievably broken" and asks that the marriage be ended under 3301(c) ("mutual consent") or in the alternative 3301(d) ("irretrievable breakdown") of the Divorce Code. In Philadelphia County, the Complaint is much longer and provides more information. In Philadelphia County, the Notice to Defend and Claim Rights is incorporated on the first page of the Complaint in Divorce, so people filing there omit the Notice to Defend and Claim Rights.
Affadavit or Verification
In most counties, an Affadavit, which is stapled to Complaint for Divorce, is used to certify the truth of the Complaint. In Philadelphia, a Verification at the end of the Complaint serves the same function.
Court of Common Pleas Intake
A one-page form, the Court of Common Pleas Intake form, which is not used in Philadelphia County, provides basic information, i.e., if the marriage is with or without children and if there is a custody filing for children under 18.
Domestic Relations Income and Expense Statement
The Domestic Relations Income and Expense Statement, which is not used in Philadelphia County, provides information about spouses' employment, available health insurance and income.
Notice to File Social Security Numbers
The Notice of File Social Security Numbers form provides the Social Security numbers of both spouses.
Marital Property Settlement Agreement
The Marital Property Settlement Agreement spells out the terms and conditions of the division and distribution of the marital estate. Except in Philadelphia County, there is no preapproved, standard form for this agreement, and a lawyer writes one customized to the circumstances of the divorcing couple.
Acknowledgment(s) (one for each spouse)
Both spouses must sign a notarized Acknowledgment that is stapled to the Marital Property Settlement Agreement.
Waiver of Notice of Intention to Request Entry of Divorce under 3301(d) of the Divorce Code.
The Waiver of Notice of Intention to Request Entry of Divorce under 3301(d) of the Divorce Code is used when the Defendant does not wish to contest the divorce.
Waiver of Notice of Intention to Request Entry of Divorce under 3301(c) of the Divorce Code, signed by the Plaintiff, and Waiver of Notice of Intention to Request Entry of Divorce under 3301(c) of the Divorce Code, signed by the Defendant
In Philadelphia County, both the husband and the wife sign a Waiver of Notice of Intention to Request Entry of a Divorce Decree instead of the Affidavit(s) of Consent/Consent Waiver(s), when they both agree to waive the notice of intention to request entry of the divorce Decree.
Affidavit of Consent, one signed by each spouse
In all counties except Philadelphia, each spouse must sign an Affidavit of Consent when the husband and the wife agree to the entry of a Decree with Notice of Intention.
Notice of Intention to Request Entry of Divorce under 3301(c) of the Divorce Code
The Notice of Intention to Request Entry of Divorce Decree informs the Defendant that unless he or she answers, an entry of divorce will be made.
Notice of Intention to Request Entry of Divorce and Counteraffidavit Under 3301(d) of the Divorce Code
Filing when the Defendant wishes to contest the divorce, the Notice of Intention to Request Entry of Divorce and Counteraffidavit is used oppose entry of a divorce and/or make claims that may include alimony, division of property, legal fees, expenses or other claims.
Support Guidelines Computations -- Child Support
The Support Guideline Computation - Child Support, a one-page form, is used to make the calculations used to determine child support, if applicable.
Notice of Intention to Request Entry of Divorce Decree
Notice of Intention to Request Entry of Divorce Decree informs the Defendant that unless he or she answers, an entry of divorce will be made.
Praecipe to Transmit Record
The Praecipe to Transmit Record requests that the Prothonotary transmit all the divorce paperwork to the court in preparation for the divorce decree. All counties use the same form except Philadelphia County, which has its own form.
Decree of Divorce
In most counties, the decree, in both contested and uncontested actions, is a one-page statement that ends the marriage. In Philadelphia County, the appropriate divorce decree is obtained from the Court Clerk. There are two kinds used in a 3301 (d) action: one called a "Decree," used for cases without a Marital Property Settlement Order and the other called a "Decree and Order" for cases with a Marital Property Settlement Agreement.
Record of Divorce or Annulment
After the divorce has been granted, the Record of Divorce or Annulment is used to record the divorce for the Vital Records office of the Department of Health. All counties except Philadelphia uses the same form. Philadelphia County has its own form.
Notice of Intention to Retake Prior Name
The Notice of Intention to Retake Prior Name is used when one spouse, usually the wife, wants to reclaim her birth name. This form may be filed with the Praecipe to Transmit Record. It should be filed no later than five days from the entry of the Decree of Divorce.
The Pennsylvania court may decide to order both spouses to attend an orientation for mediation or counseling. Mediation may resolve issues outside of court. The court tells the parties what issues need to be addressed in the sessions (for example, child custody, child support or division of property). The court cannot order mediation if there have been any allegations of domestic violence or child abuse within the past two years.
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