Divorce Procedures in Arizona

If you have decided to get a divorce in Arizona, you need to familiarize yourself with the steps you need to take and the specifics of the Arizona divorce process. Divorce is the legal process required to end a marriage. In Arizona, the legal term “divorce” has been changed to dissolution of marriage. There are many issues, considerations and decisions to be made regarding the Arizona divorce procedures that should be pursued in your case.

Some of the main issues that need to be addressed are child custody, referred to now as legal decision making, parenting time, child support, alimony (i.e., spousal maintenance), division of marital assets and debts, and the payment of attorney fees, expert witness fee, and court costs.

In some cases, divorcing parties are able to address these issues and come to an agreement outside of court with or without attorneys through mediation. If the issues cannot be agreed upon by both parties outside of court, an Arizona domestic relations judge will make the decisions after conducting a trial.


Step-by-Step Divorce Procedures in Arizona

The Petition – a document that notifies the court and your spouse, once they are served, that you intend to end the marriage. The Petition will list what you are asking for in the divorce.

The Response – the Respondent is required to file a response to the divorce petition. In Arizona, the response must be filed within 20 days if you are in state or 30 days if you are out of state. If a Response is not filed, the opposing spouse may lose his or her right to present their side of the case to the court. If this happens, the court may give your spouse everything he or she requested in his or her Petition. This is called a default divorce.

Temporary Orders – a hearing scheduled to set temporary child custody, family support, payment of community debts and use of community assets while the case is pending.

Discovery – the legal procedure for obtaining the information you are entitled to from the opposing party regarding the case.

Marital Settlement Agreement – It is often best if parties can resolve a case by agreement rather than by trial. If the parties are able to settle their case, they submit their agreement to the court in a written Marital Settlement Agreement.

Trial – When the parties cannot agree on the issues in their dissolution of marriage, the case will be scheduled for a divorce trial.

To learn more about divorce in Arizona or to receive answers to your questions regarding divorce procedures in Arizona, contact the Scottsdale Arizona divorce attorneys at Hildebrand Law.