Montana allows you to complete your divorce without an attorney if you and your spouse can come to an agreement on what to do with your property and how you will care for any children that you have.
Montana Residency Requirements
To file for divorce in Montana, either you or your spouse must have lived in Montana (or have been a member of the armed services stationed and residing in Montana) for at least 90 days before the divorce is filed.
Grounds For Divorce
A couple can obtain a no-fault divorce in Montana on the grounds that the marriage is irretrievably broken in that there is serious marital discord, which adversely affects the attitude of one of the parties toward the marriage, and there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.
Filing Your Montana Divorce
The steps for filing for a joint divorce in Montana are as follows:
- Both spouses sign a Joint Petition for Dissolution and his or her own Declaration of Disclosure of Assets, Debts, Income and Expenses, which are filed with the District Court Clerk.
- A hearing date is scheduled and both spouses must sign a few additional documents.
- Both spouses attend a brief divorce hearing and answer basic questions about their marriage and their agreement concerning the division of property and debts as well as their children together, if any. (Note: If one spouse is unable to attend, he or she can sign the Consent to Entry of Decree, which is included as part of the Montana DivorceWriter package.)
Division of property & debt, child parenting plan (including child support, visitation and custody), spousal support, and more are covered.
DivorceWriter provides forms specific to the state of Montana and offers a money back guarantee if your documents are not accepted by the Court.
Summary Dissolution Option
Summary dissolution, which is similar to filing a joint divorce as explained above, but generally requires fewer documents, may be an option. You can get a divorce through a summary dissolution proceeding only if ALL of the following conditions exist on the date you file the Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution.
- You or your spouse have lived in Montana (or either of you was a member of the armed services stationed and residing in Montana) for at least 90 days before the filing of the action;
- Irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, and you both agree that the marriage should be dissolved;
- The wife is not pregnant and if there are any minor children, the parties have executed an agreed-upon parenting plan and the child support and medical support have been determined by judicial or administrative order for all children from the relationship born before or during the marriage or adopted by the parties during the marriage.
- Neither of you has any legal interest (ownership or lease) in any real property such as land or buildings. However, this does not apply to a lease on a residence which is occupied by either spouse as long as the lease does not have an option to purchase the residence and the lease terminates within one year from the date the petition is filed;
- There are no unpaid, unsecured obligations in excess of $8,000 incurred by either or both of the parties after the date of their marriage. A debt is unsecured when the debtor's promise to pay the debt is not secured by specific property if the debtor does not pay the debt. For example, a credit card is usually an unsecured debt because you do not have to give the credit card company the financed property if you do not pay your debt;
- The total fair market value of your and your spouse's assets, excluding secured obligations, is less than $25,000. A debt is secured when the debtor's promise to pay the debt is backed by specific property if the debtor does not pay the debt. For example, your car can be taken by the bank to pay the debt if you miss a payment. This means that your car loan would be a secured debt.
- Both of you have signed an agreement agreeing to the division of property and who will be responsible for any bills or obligations. Signed documents, title certificates, bills of sale, or other evidence of transfer or agreement should be presented to the court at the time of your hearing to confirm the division and responsibilities.
- Both spouses give up your individual right to maintenance (financial support from the other NOT including child support);
- Both spouses permanently give up your individual right to appeal the terms of the dissolution and your right to move for a new trial once the marriage is formally dissolved by the court;
- Neither spouse wants help from the conciliation court to settle any controversy, or assistance in reconciling (If your county does not have a Conciliation court, this requirement does not apply);
- Both spouses have read and state that they understand the contents of the summary dissolution booklet; and Both spouses want the court to end the marriage.
Where to find Blank State Forms
While not as easy, it is possible to fill out your divorce forms by hand. You can directly download blank forms from the Montana Courts at no cost using these links: