PART 4. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURES.

§48-5-402. Petition for divorce.


(a) An action for divorce is instituted by a verified petition and the formal style and the caption for all pleadings is "In Re the marriage of ________ and ________". The parties shall be identified in all pleadings as "petitioner" and "respondent".

(b) The petition must set forth the ground or grounds for divorce. It is not necessary to allege the facts constituting a ground relied on and a petition or counter-petition is sufficient if a ground for divorce is alleged in the language of the statute as set forth in this article. The court has the discretionary authority to grant a motion to require a more definite and certain statement, set forth in ordinary and concise language, alleging facts and not conclusions of law.

(c) If the jurisdiction of the court to grant a divorce depends upon the existence of certain facts, including, but not limited to, facts showing domicil or domicil for a certain length of time, the petition must allege those facts. It is not necessary that allegations showing requisite domicil be in the language of the statute, but they should conform substantially thereto so that everything material to the fact of requisite domicil can be ascertained therefrom.

(d) A petition shall not be taken for confessed and whether the respondent answers or not, the case shall be tried and heard independently of the admissions of either party in the pleadings or otherwise. No judgment order shall be granted on the uncorroborated testimony of the parties or either of them, except for a proceeding in which the grounds for divorce are irreconcilable differences.

(e) The supreme court of appeals shall develop and provide forms for petitions filed pursuant to this section and for answers filed pursuant to section 5-403. The forms shall be made available for distribution in the offices of the clerks of the circuit courts and in the offices of the secretary-clerks to the family court judges.