Only the court can give you a divorce. The first step in a divorce proceeding is the preparation and filing of a Complaint. The legal document that starts the proceeding is entitled “Complaint for Absolute Divorce”. The Complaint states the grounds for divorce and the vital statistics of the parties and the marriage.
It also covers certain technical matters and asks the court for anything you might want. If you and your spouse cannot agree on something (support, custody, visitation, property division, attorney’s fees, court costs) then you must ask the court for it in the petition or the court cannot give it to you. If the list seems long, or if it includes more than you want, think of it as a wish list.
If the wording seems strange, remember that it is a formal legal document and much of the wording is required by law. Here is a Maryland Complaint for Absolute Divorce in PDF format.