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The Divorce Complaint

The complaint or petition, depending on the type of case, is the very first document filed in the case and is required to commence a family law action.  The person who files it is called the Plaintiff.  This document is usually called “Complaint for Divorce”, “Complaint for Separate Maintenance”, “Petition to Establish Paternity”, or a “Petition For Custody, Parenting Time and Child Support”, etc. 

A typical complaint for divorce will set forth the names of the parties, the wife’s maiden name, and details regarding the marriage: when, where, and by whom married; the names and birth dates of the children, the grounds for divorce, jurisdiction information regarding residency, a statement regarding property and debts, whether there is a need for support, and the relief being requested.

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