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Find a happier ending at Divorce.comTM Save time, money, and stress, guided by the most experienced team in online divorce

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Benefits of 
an online divorce

Benefits of an online divorce

Why Choose Divorce.com?

Divorce.com is a reliable and affordable service for getting legal paperwork to initiate an uncontested divorce. The platform was created to help spouses reduce their expenses and quickly obtain all court-required papers from the comfort of their homes.

Divorce.com is a middle ground between DIY divorces and hiring an expensive divorce lawyer. It is also suitable for couples who agree on all issues and want an amicable divorce.

Obtaining the court papers with Divorce.com consists of several simple steps:

  • Pass the brief eligibility check by answering a few questions.
  • Provide information about your divorce and marriage by completing an online questionnaire.
  • Download the forms prepared in a PDF format in two business days.
  • Print and sign the papers before filing them with the local court.

Getting lawyer-free paperwork is easy and fast with Divorce.com.

Montana divorce forms

Montana Divorce Forms

Starting a divorce in Montana requires collecting the court forms, according to each couple’s circumstances. For example, paperwork for spouses with minor children differs from childless couples.

Some basic forms can be located at the online self-help centers or government resources:

  • Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (Forms MP 112, MP 113, MP 115, or MP 116)
  • Proposed Parenting Plan (Form MP 300)
  • Description of Existing Medical Coverage (Form MP 300 G)
  • Summons and Automatic Economic Restraining Order (Form MP 400)
  • Request of Sheriff to Serve Documents (Form MP 401)
  • Notice and Request for Acknowledgement (Form MP - 403.1)
  • Acknowledgment of Service (Form MP - 403.2)
  • Request for Order Granting Service By Publication (Form MP - 402.1)
  • Order for Service of Summons By Publication (Form MP - 402.2)
  • Summons for Publication (Form MP - 402.3)
  • Financial Disclosure and Proposed Property Distribution (Form MP – 500)
  • Income and Expenses (MP - 510)
  • Additional Income (Form MP - 510-A)
  • Additional Expenses (Form MP - 510-B)
  • Vital Statistics form
  • Request for Hearing and Statement of Compliance with Financial Disclosure (Form MP - 701)
  • Order Granting Hearing on Dissolution with Children (Form MP - 702)
  • Dissolution Decree (Forms MP 703 or MP 713)
  • Notice and Entry of Decree (Form MP - 704)
  • Consent to Entry of Decree (Form MP - 730)
Divorce forms preparation

Divorce forms preparation

How to Fill Out Divorce Forms in Montana

Filling out the blank forms is the second important step for a successful filing. It requires some knowledge of legal terminology and the court system, but it’s not impossible. Below you can find several tips on how to fill out the forms without mistakes.

  • Read the forms and questions and note anything unfamiliar or unknown, e.g., legal terms or specific personal information.
  • Look up the terminology in legal dictionaries and Montana State Statutes.
  • Gather the vital documentation and data required to fill out the forms, e.g., the date of marriage and separation, each party’s addresses, phone numbers, etc.
  • Ensure that your wife or husband agrees to all terms that you will put into the papers.
  • Answer the questions on the forms and sign them.

If a plaintiff takes the paperwork to the district clerk and they find errors or missing forms, they won’t accept the filing. Thus, it is paramount to complete the paperwork correctly.

If you need help figuring out the documentation, Divorce.com is at your service. Our platform will select and fill out all the state-specific papers, according to your circumstances. By choosing Divorce.com, you’ll save time and money and receive ready-to-file divorce documents in just two business days.

Filing for
Divorce in
Montana

Steps to Consider

Residency Requirements

A married couple can file for divorce in Montana if the state courts have jurisdiction over their case. The jurisdiction means that the judges have the right to issue court orders regarding divorce, such as dividing property and ordering alimony.

Montana state laws require that either spouse has lived (or been stationed) within the state limits for 90 days before they start a dissolution process. The same residency period applies to minor children for the court to rule on child custody.

Grounds for Divorce

Grounds are a legal term for “reasons” that caused the divorce. Montana laws do not require spouses to blame each other and state any fault-based grounds, such as adultery. Instead, the only no-fault reason for dissolution is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

The judge must ensure that the marriage is irretrievably broken by checking to see if:

  • The spouses had lived separately for 180 days or more before they filed for divorce;
  • They have a serious marital disagreement and no prospect of reconciliation.
Initial Filing

Filing for divorce in Montana includes several essential steps. First, a petitioner must collect appropriate court-required papers, such as a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, Financial Disclosure, and a few other documents.

Then, the petitioner must take the original forms and two copies to the clerk’s office in a proper court. They must choose a court located in a county where:

  • Either spouse lives or owns property;
  • The minor children live;
  • The children have significant ties, like school or medical treatment, etc.
Filing Fees

When a petitioner comes to the clerk to file the divorce papers, they must pay a mandatory filing fee. In Montana, the amount differs between the counties - approximately $120-$180. Additional court fees may include the sheriff’s fee for service of papers on the respondent.

If the spouses cannot afford the fees, they may ask the judge for a waiver by completing and submitting a Statement of Inability to Pay Court Costs (in accordance with Rule: 23.2.301). The petitioner must file this form together with the initial papers.

Serving the Respondent

After the petitioner filed the divorce papers, they needed to send all copies and the Summons to the other spouse. Then, if the respondent is willing to accept the service, they may sign the Acknowledgment of Service form.

Otherwise, the petitioner must use one of the following methods:

  • Service by certified mail
  • Hiring a sheriff or a private process server
  • Service by publication
Waiting Period

Montana is one of the states that have a waiting period for spouses obtaining a divorce. Under the state’s laws, 21 days must pass from the moment when:

  • The respondent receives the divorce papers
  • The spouses filed a Joint Petition for Dissolution, if the divorce is uncontested

This period is required to let the non-filing spouse file the response papers, or for spouses to change their minds about getting a divorce if they reconcile.

Finalizing a Divorce Case

After the waiting period, the spouses may ask for a court hearing where they present their case before a judge. If the divorce is amicable, the judge will review the proposed terms and the parenting plan and issue a Final Decree of Dissolution. Contested cases, though, will proceed to trial.

The spouses will get a confirmed copy of the divorce decree from the court clerk. They can also request a certified copy of this document for a fee.

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Uncontested divorce 
in Montana

Uncontested Divorce in Montana

Getting an uncontested divorce means discussing and agreeing on all issues regarding divorce before going to court and filing a lawsuit. Couples with at least one unresolved dispute cannot count as having an uncontested divorce. However, they can try mediation if they are willing to compromise, especially when children are involved.

If both parties agree on all issues, they can decrease divorce expenses. For example, they don’t need to hire an attorney and pay thousands of dollars for legal representation.

Also, amicably divorcing couples have more control over the divorce outcome by discussing and putting into writing the following terms:

  • property division, e.g., real estate, assets, money on bank cards, debts, etc.
  • child custody arrangements and visitation
  • alimony and child support

These terms usually go into a settlement agreement, which becomes part of the final judgment. However, there are many other forms the couple needs to file. Thus, if you need help collecting the court-required forms, fast and inexpensively, you can use Divorce.com.

Child custody

Getting a Divorce with Children in Montana

Child custody

Montana family courts pay significant attention to the child’s living conditions and needs after a divorce. For this reason, judges often award equal custody (also called “parenting” in Montana) rights to both parents. However, if one parent poses a danger to the child, the custody arrangements may differ.

Montana family law provides the following types of parenting time/child custody:

  • Joint physical custody: the child may live with each parent, in turns according to a schedule, or have frequent contact with both parents.
  • Sole physical custody: the child lives permanently in the custodial parent’s house.
  • Joint legal custody: both parents can decide how to raise the child.
  • Sole legal custody: only one custodial parent makes essential decisions concerning the child’s health, education, religion, etc.

The parents may negotiate the child custody arrangements in consultation sessions with a divorce mediator or agree to all issues independently. In this case, they can develop a parenting plan and present it to the judge, who will review and then approve or reject it.

If the spouses cannot agree on custody, the judge will review the relevant factors before issuing court orders. These factors are:

  • The wishes of the parents and the child;
  • The child’s relationships with the parents, siblings, and other significant people;
  • The history of abuse or threats of abuse against the child or other parent;
  • The child’s developmental needs;
  • The fitness of each spouse to perform parenting responsibilities, etc.
Child Support

Child Support

The judge will order the parents to pay child support to provide for any minor children that the couple has together. If they already have a child support order from the Child Support Enforcement Division, the judge may refer to it in the final order.

If there’s no child support order from an appropriate agency, the parents may calculate the payment amount using the state guidelines. They are based on the income of both parties and the number of children and account for shared parenting arrangements and long-distance parenting adjustments.

The parents can stop paying child support when the child turns 18 (and graduates from high school), turns 19 (while attending high school), or emancipates.

Divorce Without a Lawyer in Montana

Divorce Without
a Lawyer
in Montana

Obtaining a divorce without a lawyer is an appropriate option for spouses who agree on all issues. Since they don’t have any disputes that need resolving in court, they also don’t need a lawyer. This way, the spouses save thousands of dollars in legal fees. For example, average legal fees in Montana are $230-$250 per hour, making the whole case’s price around $10,000.

However, getting a lawyer-free divorce is not a wise option for contested cases. Thus, couples who cannot negotiate a mutual agreement will need to undergo several court trials and will benefit from legal representation. But if a divorce is amicable, the spouses will only need to collect the legal paperwork and file it with the court clerk.

Drafting the papers without a lawyer might be challenging. For this reason, many couples prefer to use online divorce services that generate and complete all required court forms. One such reliable platform is Divorce.com.

Divorce.com will generate and fill out state-specific divorce documents in two business days. You will only need to pass a brief eligibility check and answer several questions. It’s easy, convenient, and inexpensive.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to get divorced in Montana?

The average time a couple with an uncontested divorce needs to get a divorce decree is 2-3 months. Contested cases take much longer – 6 to 10 months, depending on the situation’s complexity.

Can I get a free divorce in Montana?

Spouses having financial hardships can request a fee waiver from the court. The necessary form to present to a judge to waive the filing fees is a Statement of Inability to Pay Court Costs (in accordance with Rule: 23.2.301).

How do I file for divorce in Montana?

A petitioner must collect and submit a Petition for Dissolution with necessary attachments, a Parenting Plan, and a Final Property Distribution with the proper district court. It may be a courthouse in a county where either a petitioner or a respondent lives.

How much does a divorce cost in Montana?

The cost of divorce in Montana depends on the conflicts between spouses. For instance, uncontested cases cost around $1,500. Instead, contentious circumstances may require $10,000-$15,000. But if your divorce is amicable, you can use Divorce.com and only pay for the paperwork.