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Arizona Divorce

Everything You Need to Know About Affordable Arizona Divorce
Affordable Family Law, Inc. > Arizona Divorce

Looking for an affordable alternative to a family law attorney? The divorce professionals at Affordable Family Law can help you achieve your legal goals. We offer cost-effective divorce solutions and 5-star customer service.

 

 

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Understanding Divorce in Arizona

Arizona state flag on mapIn Arizona, divorce is a civil matter and is handled by the family law division of the Superior Court. When couples get married, they obtain a marriage license and enter into a legally binding contract. If their marriage ends in divorce, that contract must be legally dissolved.

 

Jurisdiction

 

In order to obtain a divorce in Arizona, Arizona must have jurisdiction. Meaning there must be a legal marriage to dissolve and at least one spouse must have been residing in Arizona, specifically in the County where the divorce petition is filed, for the past 90 days. If the couple seeking a divorce has minor children, a major part of their divorce will be child custody. In order for the Superior Court to assert jurisdiction and address child custody in a divorce, the children must have been residing in Arizona for the previous six months.

 

Reasons for Divorce

 

Arizona is a “no-fault divorce” state. That means that divorcing couples do not have to provide the Court with a specific “reason” for their divorce. Only one spouse needs to assert that they believe the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” As such, the Court does not take reasons for the divorce, such as infidelity, into consideration when issuing a divorce.

 

community property

Major Components

 

An Arizona divorce addresses several major areas. First, it dissolves the marriage. Next, all divorces include a division of any property, assets and debts obtained during the marriage (community property), and an affirmation of property, assets and debts acquired prior to marriage to the party that owned them (sole & separate property). If either party qualifies, spousal maintenance (alimony) will be determined. Finally, if the divorcing couple has minor children there will be orders addressing custody (legal decision-making), parenting time and child support.

 

Divorce Procedure

 

To initiate a divorce in Arizona one spouse must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and the accompanying initial documents. In doing so, the filing spouse becomes the Petitioner in the divorce case.

 

divorcing coupleAfter the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed, a copy of all documents filed with the Court must be served on the other spouse, known as the Respondent. The Respondent can agree to waive formal process service and accept service of the Petition and accompanying documents. Either way, the Respondent has 20 days (if served in Arizona) or 30 days (if served outside of Arizona) to file a Response to the Petition. The Response will contain the Respondent’s positions on each claim made by the Petitioner in their Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. After the Response is filed, the Court will schedule an initial hearing to determine any areas of agreement, disagreement, schedule services such as mediation, and set a Trial date.

 

If a Response is filed but both parties are able to reach an agreement regarding all issues without proceeding to Trial, they can submit a Consent Decree of Dissolution of Marriage that sets forth all of their agreements for the Judge to sign and make their divorce final.

 

If the Respondent fails to file a Response within the time limit, the Petitioner can apply for default. After an Application and Affidavit for Default is filed with the Court, the Court gives the Respondent an additional ten (10) business days to file a Response or face the risk of the divorce being granted on all the terms the Petitioner requested in their Petition. If no Response is filed, the Petitioner can proceed via default at the end of the Court-mandated “cooling off” period of 60 days after the Respondent is served with the divorce papers.

 

Types of Divorce

 

Learn more about divorce with no children, divorce with children, uncontested divorce, contested divorce, default divorce and covenant marriage divorce by clicking on the word above that describes the type of Arizona divorce you want to learn more about.

 

Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer in Arizona?

 

AZ Divorce AttorneyFirst of all, no one is required to hire an attorney in order to get a divorce in Arizona. However, one’s need for an attorney depends upon each person’s unique circumstances. That being said, the majority of divorce cases filed in the Arizona Family Court are done so without attorney representation.

 

If spouses aren’t disputing custody and support of their children, or division of property for example, an attorney could be a costly and unnecessary venture. They might just need someone to guide them through the legal process and completion of the paperwork. That is exactly what we do at Affordable Family Law. We gather all Court-required information up front. Based on that information, we then explain all available options and allow our clients to select the option that works best for them. From there, we prepare the divorce petition and all the accompanying paperwork according to the Court’s rules. Our clients review and approve of everything before anything is submitted to the Court. Finally, we educate our clients on their options for finalizing the divorce in the most timely and cost-effective manner possible.

 

Make sure you explore all your Arizona divorce options before hiring a costly lawyer. If you and your spouse want to divorce amicably, contact Affordable Family Law today to learn how we can help you achieve your goals for a fraction of the cost of an attorney.