Filing for Divorce in Montana

Filing for Divorce in Montana

Montana is often called “Big Sky Country,” and if you are looking at stepping out into a big new world without your spouse then you need to understand how to get a divorce in Montana.

Filing for divorce in Montana

Many people thinking about divorce imagine an all-out fight.

That certainly is one option, and is how things may go if a couple has children or a lot of money to fight over.

In that situation, commonly called a contested divorce, filing for divorce looks like most any other lawsuit.

One spouse must file a verified petition that lays out the details of the marriage and explains what the spouse is seeking in terms of money and child custody.

Montana divorce laws also allow a couple to file for divorce jointly. This is often called an uncontested divorce.

The couple can submit a parenting plan and a proposal for how to divide up their assets.

The court simply has to review the proposals and make sure it is fair to both sides.  Unfortunately, many couples headed for divorce have very few assets. They do not have the money to each hire their own lawyer, because the legal fees can cost more than the amount of money they are fighting over.

The joint divorce process makes it much easier.

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Montana divorce waiting period

For a person in a bad marriage, their first question is often “how long does it take to get a divorce in Montana?”

The good news is, In most situations, couples can get a divorce in Montana almost immediately.  There is usually no waiting period. Montana is a no-fault state, which means that the grounds for divorce do not require one spouse to prove that the other spouse did something wrong.

One option for how to file a divorce in Montana is for the couple to show that they have lived separately for 180 days before the divorce is granted.

Most people do not want to wait for 180 days, so they will choose the second option.

That is “serious marital discord” that adversely affects the marriage or “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage.  In Montana, one spouse can hold up the divorce by claiming that there is some chance for reconciliation.

Dissolution of marriage – Montana

The end goal of the divorce process is an order from the court granting a dissolution of marriage, better known as a divorce decree.

This is a recognition that Montana divorce laws have terminated the legal ties binding a couple.  This decree often comes along with orders related to children and money.

The courts must address the care of any children of the divorcing couple.

The parents will usually agree on a split of custody, but the court can step in and order what it thinks is in the best interest of the child.  The court must also split up the couple’s assets and decide if one spouse needs to pay support, called maintenance, to the other spouse.

These ongoing monthly payments are intended to care for a spouse that could not immediately become self-sufficient after the divorce.

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