Obtaining a Divorce in Arizona
Life changes can be difficult, but those changes involving family law can be even harder to deal with. When your family status is changing, you’ll want someone to guide you through the process who knows what they’re doing. Working through the legal system and going through the process of separation and divorce can definitely be overwhelming, especially with all of the requirements you have to meet and papers you have to fill out. Much of that stress can be mitigated by knowing that a dedicated team of experienced and knowledgeable divorce professionals are handling your case. The process of obtaining a divorce varies from state to state.
What is the process of obtaining a divorce in Arizona? First, the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage must be filed by one spouse with the Arizona Superior Court. Then the Petition is served upon the other spouse, along with other required documents (this is called service of process). There are different ways the service of process may be accomplished, but regardless, it must be completed no later than 120 days after the date the Petition was initially filed with the court. Failure to meet this deadline may result in the dismissal of the case by the court in which you filed the Petition.
Once service of process is complete, the parties have additional time to conduct discovery. Both spouses are required to disclose certain documents to the other spouse during this stage of the divorce process. This includes disclosing copies of income tax returns, paycheck stubs, business financial statements, bank account statements, credit card statements, and copies of deeds and titles to all property owned by either or both spouses. Both spouses also have the right to seek additional information and documentation from the other party through the issuance of subpoenas, the discovery requests for information and/or documentation, and the scheduling of depositions to provide the attorneys an opportunity to question the other spouse and witness prior to trial.
Both parties may submit to the court a Consent Decree and Marital Settlement Agreement if they are able to resolve all of the issues in the divorce case. The parties may even obtain a divorce without ever appearing in court if they submit a properly prepared Consent Decree and Marital Settlement Agreement. Sometimes, spouses do not initially reach an agreement resolving the issues in their divorce, but ultimately do so by participating in an Alternative Dispute Resolution process, such as mediation and/or arbitration.
Either spouse can request the court to schedule temporary orders if it appears a case will not be resolved quickly. In this case, temporary child custody, use of community property, and temporary child support and/or spousal maintenance may be assigned.
If an agreement is not reached, the parties will be scheduled for trial and each must provide the court a Joint Pretrial Statement. In this statement, each will inform the judge of the unresolved issues, educate the judge on each spouse’s position on each unresolved issue, outline the relevant legal positions that would impact the court’s consideration of those issues, and list the witnesses and exhibits each parts intends to present to the court at trial.
Within 60 days of the date of the trial, the court will issue a Divorce Decree. That ruling is typically presented in the form of a Minute Entry, which is then incorporated into a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. This Decree is then lodged with the court by one of the parties. If neither party files any post trial motions or appeals the court’s decision, the judge will sign the lodged Divorce Decree and file it with the clerk of the court. Now, the divorce is final!
If you live in Arizona and are seeking a firm who is dedicated solely to the practice of family law and divorce cases, you’ll want to check out Hildebrand Law. At Hildebrand Law, you’ll find the help you need with Divorce, Legal Separation, Community Property, Business Valuations, Paternity, Spousal Maintenance, Child Custody, Child Abuse, Child Support, Orders of Protection, and Mediation Services. Christopher Hildebrand is the firm’s founder and is a distinguished family law attorney who has protected the rights of his clients in courtrooms throughout the greater Phoenix, Arizona area for more than a decade.
Hildebrand Law is a firm that is dedicated solely to the practice of family law and divorce cases. Since the firm is focused solely on family law, you’ll know that you are working with a team who has extensive knowledge and understanding of Arizona Divorce Laws. For starters, one who is getting a divorce in Arizona should know that Arizona is referred to as a no fault divorce state. What does this mean? This means that either spouse may file for divorce if it is alleged that the marriage existing between the parties is irretrievably broken with no reasonably prospect of reconciliation. The spouse who is filing for divorce or legal separation is not required to allege that either party is at fault for the breakdown of the marital relationship, but just needs to allege that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
This was a compensated post. All opinions expressed in this post are 100% mine.