Do I have to go to Court to get a divorce in Arizona?
Whether or not you have to go to Court to get a divorce in Arizona depends on how your divorce is finalized.
If you and your spouse agree on everything, meaning you will be divorced by consent, neither spouse will have to go to Court.
If your spouse does not respond to your divorce petition, you can apply to be divorced by default. If you are divorcing via default and there are no minor children common to your marriage and you are not requesting spousal maintenance, you can file a Motion with the Court requesting that your default divorce be entered without having to attend a hearing. If you are divorcing via default and there are minor children involved and/or you are requesting spousal maintenance, you will be required to attend one hearing before a Court Commissioner who will finalize your divorce. You can schedule the date and time of your default hearing with the Court in order to coordinate with your schedule.
If your divorce is contested, both spouses will be required to attend various hearings before the Court. You will not be able to schedule these hearing dates and times with the Court, they will be set based on the Court’s schedule. If neither party is represented by an attorney, the first Court appearance you will be required to attend is an Early Resolution Conference (ERC). If one or both parties is represented by an attorney, the first Court appearance you will be required to attend is a Resolution Management Conference (RMC). At either the ERC or RMC, the Judge will often order you and your spouse to attend a mediation session, parenting conference and/or settlement conference, as appropriate. In addition, the Judge will set a Trial/Evidentiary Hearing date, which is a final hearing that both you and your spouse must attend (unless you reach an agreement prior thereto.)