In ‘no-fault divorce’ states like Arizona, the court only require a divorcing couple to state that their marriage is ‘irretrievably broken’ to grant a divorce. A couple does not need to state who is to blame for the marital problems, and the petitioning spouse does not even need to convince their partner to agree to the divorce.
However, this does not necessarily make Arizona’s divorce process easier. Generally, divorce is stressful, expensive, and time-consuming. It requires the divorcing spouses to make hard decisions on property division, alimony, custody, and child support.
Accordingly, it is critical to understand the divorce process and have the necessary support by your side. Our skilled and experienced Tucson, AZ, divorce lawyers at RPM Law, will help you navigate and understand the process, including requirements and the basic steps.
Requirements for the Divorce Process in Arizona
One of the divorce process’ primary requirements is for you or your spouse to have lived in Arizona for at least 90 days before filing for divorce. You must also file for divorce in the county where you or your spouse lives.
Primary Steps to the Arizona Divorce Process
Upon meeting the requirements, the divorce process follows some basic steps, including:
- Divorce Preparations: It is advisable to be well prepared to handle related financial, emotional, and legal consequences considering the long-term impact of divorce. You need to decide whether to hire a lawyer and how to break the news to your loved ones, including your spouse and children, if any.
- Filing Divorce Paperwork and Paying Mandatory Fees: Upon deciding to file for divorce, you need to file the necessary divorce paperwork with the court and pay required fees as the first legal step. The paperwork work includes some mandatory forms like a Petition form, a Summons form, and standard information like the couple’s full names, date of marriage, and information about children, if any.
- Serving Divorce Papers: Once you (the petitioner) file the divorce papers, you need to serve your partner (the respondent) with a copy of the divorce documents. You can use a process server to deliver the documents to your spouse. The respondent needs to acknowledge receiving the divorce papers.
- Responding to the Divorce Petition: The non-filing spouse needs to respond to the divorce petition within 20 days of ‘service’ or 30 days if living in another state; otherwise, the court will grant a ‘default judgment’ in favor of the petitioner. The respondent must also file proof that they have filed a Response.
- Establishing Temporary Orders: After ‘service’ and a ‘response,’ including financial disclosure, the judge can enter temporary orders, especially where children are involved, or a spouse is at a financial disadvantage. However, the divorcing couple can also have an out-of-court agreement that eventually becomes part of the divorce decree.
- Trial and Final Judgment: The divorce case will go to trial if the couple fails to have an out-of-court agreement. Accordingly, the couple must comply with the court’s final judgment or divorce decree. However, the divorce terms in the decree must be acceptable and fair to all parties. Even though the divorce decree is final and binding, some post-divorce issues may necessitate the court to modify or change the divorce terms.
How long is Arizona’s Divorce Process?
Other considerations in an Arizona divorce case include the cost of the process and how long it will take to get a divorce decree. Mostly, these considerations will depend on the nature and complexity of your divorce case.
For instance, the length of the divorce process may depend on several factors, including whether the case is contested or uncontested, with a contested divorce taking longer to finalize.
Similar to the length of the divorce process, the cost of a divorce case depends on several factors, including whether or not you will hire a divorce attorney and whether your divorce is contested or uncontested. Your location can also affect the cost of divorce.
Contact a Tucson Family and Divorce Lawyer
While it is not mandatory to have a divorce attorney, having one can simplify the process while making it faster and less stressful. Essentially a divorce lawyer can help you navigate the often complex legal process while allowing you to concentrate on the potential emotional and financial consequences. Our experienced and skilled Tucson divorce lawyers at RPM Law will help you navigate the divorce process while helping you get a favorable outcome. Contact us for a free consultation and to learn more about our services.