What Does Uncontested Divorce Mean in Arizona?
Many people call us and ask for an “uncontested divorce.” They want a cheap divorce and have heard that uncontested divorces are cheap. But, there is no official divorce form or document in Arizona known as an uncontested divorce.
In Arizona, we call it a “default divorce”.
However, the term itself could mean different things:
1. One person serves the other, and the other person does not contest, because they agree.
For example, let’s say two people are married, but have no property or debt as a couple. One person may serve the other with a divorce petition. The petition would simply state- in legal terms of course- that there is nothing to divide. The other person agrees, so they don’t bother to contest. You could call this an uncontested divorce, even though one person isn’t really participating.
After 60 days have passed, a default divorce decree can be submitted to the court. The other person was served the papers, and never contested because they were in agreement. This is known as a default divorce. It is also “uncontested,” but that’s not the actual legal term.
2. Another way a divorce could be uncontested, is that one person is served the paperwork and doesn’t respond to the court in time.
Sometimes when the person being served disagrees with parts of the divorce petition, they ignore it and do not respond. When a person ignore a petition and does not file a response with the court, then they will lose by default. This means the person who filed the divorce (petitioner) will win. A judge will sign the divorce paperwork with the terms the petitioner asked for. This type of divorce is also “uncontested,” but only because one party ran out of time– not because they were in agreement. Meaning, you can be in total agreement or completely disagree with everything, and still have an “uncontested divorce.”