This post explains how to complete a Summons, one of three documents you’ll need to file your own divorce.
In a previous post, we provided fallible PDF forms for you to file your own divorce with the courts, assuming you and your partner are in agreement and have no minor children between the two of you. We’ve also explained how to complete the first two required documents, the Petition for Divorce and Family Case Law Information Sheet.
You should talk to an attorney for advice prior to completing the document and filing it with the court. We don’t recommend you substitute this post with actual legal advice.
FILLING OUT THE SUMMONS
The Summons itself is pretty easy to complete and should only take a few minutes. The header, known as the caption, is the same as in the Petition. You should complete the name and contact info with your information. It should match what’s on the petition.
Next you will need to put your name in the Petitioner line and your spouse’s name on the Respondent’s.
Leave the case number blank. The clerk will write this in when you file it. There are three blocks to complete. Leave these blank as well for the clerk to complete.
The boxes indicate if an Order to Attend parenting education program or a joint temporary restraining order is attached to the Petition. You should serve these documents with your petition to your spouse if these blocks are checked.
The order to attend a parenting class and the joint temporary restraining order (children) will only be included if you and your spouse have minor children. The restraining order prohibits each parent from taking a child out of the state without permission and basically tells the parties they have to get along during the proceedings.
The joint temporary restraining order (property) is included in every case, regardless if there are kids or not. This document is automatically attached to the petition. It is not something either party requests. It prohibits parties from getting rid of their property without permission before it can be accounted for and distributed equitably between the parties.
The next part you do need to complete is the address of the court. You can find the address of your court via google.
The court clerk will date and sign the summons when you file it.
FILING YOUR DIVORCE
Once you’ve completed the Petition, Family Law Worksheet and Summons, print three copies of the petition and four of the Summons. You won’t need to make any additional copies of the worksheet. You can then take the entire stack of paperwork to the courthouse to file it at the ciivl window.
The clerk will take all of your documents, and your $207 LINK filing fee, stamp them and file a copy. You’ll get two copies of the petition back. One is for you to keep. One copy is for your spouse. You’ll get the original summons back to, which should be served on your spouse and then returned to the court house. You’ll each get a copy to keep as well.