We have practiced in the area of Arizona Family Law for the last decade. We have handled hundreds of cases from every vantage point and we have a deep expertise to give you the best representation available.
Stages of the Divorce Process
Family law matters in Arizona are governed by Arizona Revised Statutes Title 25. In Arizona, the legal name for a divorce is “Dissolution of Marriage”. The amount of time that it takes to finalize a divorce varies from case to case. State law requires that you wait at least 60 days from the date of service of process of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage to the opposing party before you can finalize a divorce. After the passage of the 60 day period, the steps necessary in obtaining a divorce will vastly depend on the specifics of your situation.
A divorce where the parties have been married for a relatively short period of time, have no children, or have little property or debt can be less complex; a divorce where the parties have been married for a long period of time, have minor children, or have a significant amount of property or debt to be divided may take considerably more time to resolve, especially when there is a disagreement between the parties. This is important to remain mindful of; if you feel a divorce proceeding is taking far too long, remember that one size does not fit all when it comes to the dissolution of a marriage.
The person who files for divorce, thus initiating the action, is called the “Petitioner”. The person responding to the divorce petition is called the “Respondent.” Once the Petition for Dissolution is filed, the Respondent must be formally served with the petition and accompanying documents and proof of service must be filed with the Clerk of the Court. Proof of service is evidence showing you have provided copies of the divorce petition and accompanying documents to the other party.
After proper service of the petition, the Respondent must file a Response within 20 days if he or she lives in Arizona or within 30 days if he or she lives outside Arizona. He or she must make sure the Petitioner receives a copy of the Response. A Response is a written document that gives the Respondent a chance to agree or disagree with the statements made by the Petitioner in the Petition. Depending on the Response, you may be required to attend a hearing or conference. If a hearing is set, you will receive a notice from the court.
If the Petition for Dissolution has been filed and served on the other party and a Response has not been filed within the allotted time period, the filing party may apply for a Default Judgment.
Divorce Decisions and Arizona Law
If both parties agree to all issues within the case, the parties may file a Consent Decree. Once signed by the parties, the Consent Decree and other required paperwork cannot be ratified by the Judge until at least 60 days have passed after the date the Respondent was served with the divorce papers. The Court enters a Consent Decree when both parties have agreed in writing on all issues such as division of property and debt, spousal maintenance, Legal Decision Making (custody), Parenting Time, and child support.
Having experience on your side is important when dealing with the complexities of divorce, and the lawyers at Onisile Law have the experience you need. Through all the difficult steps of divorce, our experienced and compassionate staff will be there to help you.