Getting a Divorce: Checklists, Worksheets, and State Forms

A marriage can be performed in a matter of minutes. But, the process to end one involves more work. You must determine living arrangements and child custody. You must also divide marital property, both money and real estate. All of these decisions require paperwork, evidence, and documentation.

Divorce proceedings require thorough evidence to ensure the process is fair for all parties and in compliance with state laws. Getting organized is a significant part of divorce proceedings. 

This article will help you understand how to prepare for the divorce process. At the end of this page, you will also find:

  • Sample divorce forms, worksheets, questionnaires, and checklists
  • Links to state-specific divorce and family court forms
  • How to get legal help

Divorce Courts Make Decisions Based on Evidence

Most states give courts a lot of room to make decisions in divorce cases. A family court judge will look at:

Formulas help calculate child support by your state's rules. Even uncontested divorces are a lot of work. Determining a settlement that works for both people needs disclosure and honest evaluation.

The law cares about evidence. Going through a couple's financial records, property records, tax returns, and other details is part of the process. A divorce attorney will perform all these steps and complete the required court forms.

Gather all documents that you think may be helpful. Make sure you have your ex-spouse's contact information if you are no longer living together.

Getting organized can help your attorney understand your case faster. It'll also help with the court and opposing counsel. While an attorney does cost money, they will make sure to get you a fair settlement.

Forms, Checklists, and Worksheets Can Help You Organize

Checklists and questionnaires are a good way to gather and organize the information you need for your divorce papers and court forms. Divorce attorneys especially rely on them to understand your financial position and personal history. Chasing down all the necessary documents is part of what divorce attorneys do.

Having these documents ready for your attorney will speed up the process. Organizing your details can also help you better understand what to expect from a divorce. Divorce and family courts try to reach a fair result for everyone. Knowing the true state of your marital property and accounts can go a long way.

Alimony and Spousal Support

Spousal support or alimony is not automatically a part of divorce cases. You must ask for it. The judge will consider an application for spousal support before they enter a court order.

Did one spouse work and support the other through school to get a high-paying job? What if one spouse has strong career and employment prospects while the other takes time off to raise the family? Maybe one spouse only needs support while they attend school after the divorce?

A family court judge may issue a support order temporarily during the divorce while the issues are being discussed. The judge may also order spousal support in your final decree of divorce. It may be either temporary or permanent, depending on your circumstances.

The information sheets, worksheets, and checklists in this section can help you know what to bring up with your attorney or the court.

Dividing Marital Property

You'll also find forms and questionnaires here dealing with the division of the marital estate. Divorce courts review a marriage's joint assets along with each spouse's separate assets. This is then used to determine a fair distribution for all parties.

Collect details on:

  • Your home
  • Other properties
  • Investments
  • Savings accounts
  • Securities
  • Benefits, including social security
  • Retirement plans
  • Insurance policies

If you worry your ex-spouse may drain your joint assets, you may need to request a protective order. This order will guard these resources while the divorce case is being decided.

Use the sample forms and resources at the end of this article for help compiling this information.

Getting Divorced? Get Legal Help

Divorce is a complex and time-consuming process. While some may be easier, you still need to know a lot. Many courts have self-help centers, law libraries, or court clerks who may guide you, but they cannot give you legal advice or tell you what you deserve.

family law attorney in your area can help you throughout the divorce process. An experienced attorney can advocate for your rights, negotiate on your behalf, and represent your interests in court proceedings.

If you have experienced domestic violence in your marriage or don't feel safe, you may need a restraining order or an order of protection. The divorce process can be especially stressful and dangerous for those experiencing domestic violence. Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Your local legal aid office may offer help if you cannot afford an attorney.

Sample Divorce Forms, Checklists, and Worksheets

State Divorce Forms

Find links to each state's divorce and family court forms below.








  • Family Court Forms: Select “Family forms grouped by case" (Connecticut Judicial Branch)


District of Columbia





  • Forms (Court Assistance Office)




  • Divorce forms: Scroll down the page for “Divorce" forms (Iowa Judicial Branch)



  • All Forms: Select "Family and Children" on the left-hand side of the page to find “Dissolution of Marriage / Divorce Forms" (Kentucky Court of Justice)




  • Family Law Forms: Scroll down the page for “Family Matters" forms (Maryland Judiciary)









New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota





Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota




  • OCAP Self Help Forms: You must create an account to fill out forms (Utah Online Court Assistance Program)




West Virginia



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Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • You may not need an attorney for a simple divorce with uncontested issues
  • Legal advice is critical to protect your interests in a contested divorce
  • Divorce lawyers can help secure fair custody/visitation, support, and property division

An attorney is a skilled advocate during negotiations and court proceedings. Many attorneys offer free consultations.

Find a local attorney

Don't Forget About Estate Planning

Divorce is an ideal time to review your beneficiary designations on life insurance, bank accounts, and retirement accounts. You need to change your estate planning forms to reflect any new choices about your personal representative and beneficiaries. You can change your power of attorney if you named your ex-spouse as your agent. Also, change your health care directive to remove them from making your health care decisions.

Start Planning