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Arizona Divorce Process

Affordable Family Law, Inc. > Arizona Divorce Process

Below, you will find the Arizona divorce process explained in great detail. If you have any questions about the process that are not answered here, feel free to contact us with questions. In addition to this, we also have a PowerPoint presentation on Arizona divorce here, on Slideshare.



The Respondent must be served with the divorce paperwork within 120 days after the Petition is filed. Service can be completed either by them accepting service, or being served by process server or certified mail. If the parties have children, they must each attend the mandatory Parent Information Program Class within 45 days from the date Respondent is served and then file proof of attendance with the Court.


If you & your spouse are in agreement regarding the divorce, you are divorcing by consent and the Respondent does not need to file a Response to your Divorce Petition (but the Response filing fee must still be paid to the Court.)


A Consent Decree of Dissolution of Marriage, containing all agreements regarding your divorce must be drafted and submitted to your assigned Judge. The Consent Decree cannot be submitted until 60 days after the Respondent was served/accepted service.


The Judge has an additional 60 days to sign off on the Consent Decree. The day the Judge signs the Consent Decree is the day you are divorced.


If your spouse does not respond to your Divorce Petition within the allowed time and you do not have an agreement regarding the divorce, you are divorcing via default.


If the Respondent was served in AZ and does not file a Response within 20 days (if served outside of AZ they have 30 days to file a Response), you must file an Application for Default with the Court and mail a copy of the Application to the Respondent. The Court then gives the Respondent 10 additional business days to file a Response.


If the Respondent files a Response within the 10 additional business days, you have a contested divorce (see to the right). If the Respondent does not file a Response within the time limit, you can request a Default Hearing 64 days after the Respondent was originally served.


At the default hearing, you will appear before a Court Commissioner. Bring a proposed Default Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. If your case involves children, bring your Parent Information Program certificate (if it hasn’t already been filed with the Court), a proposed Parenting Plan, completed Child Support Worksheet, proof of income and expenses for the children, and a proposed Child Support Order. The Commissioner will ask you questions, review your proposed documents and finalize your divorce.


If the Respondent files a Response to your Divorce Petition within 20 days (if served within AZ) or 30 days (if served outside AZ) and disagrees with your Divorce Petition, you have a contested divorce.


If neither party is represented by an attorney, the Court will schedule an Early Resolution Conference (ERC) that both parties must attend. If either party or both parties are represented by attorneys the Court will schedule a Resolution Management Conference (RMC) which all parties must attend. The purpose of each of these conferences is to make the Court aware of any agreements reached and areas of disagreement so that the Court can schedule services, such as mediation, and set a Trial date.


If you and your spouse reach full agreement at any point prior to Trial, see the divorce by consent process to the far left. If you are unable to reach agreements see below.


Prior to Trial, you and your spouse will be required to exchange documents containing information required by Rule 49 ARFLP. Then you will each submit documents to the Court you feel should be presented as evidence during Trial. At the Trial, each spouse will have the opportunity to offer evidence & testimony which the Judge will consider when making decisions regarding each contested area of the divorce. Judges typically take the matters presented at Trial under advisement and issue a final ruling, called a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage, within 60 days after the Trial.


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