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A Detailed Guide on the Arizona Divorce Timeline

Thu 3rd Aug, 2023 Arizona Divorce Laws

The process of divorce in Arizona can seem complex and overwhelming, especially when already dealing with the emotional turmoil associated with going through a divorce.

The Arizona divorce timeline follows a specific series of steps. Understanding the Arizona divorce timeline and the steps of an Arizona divorce case can alleviate some of the uncertainties and stress involved.

Step 1: Filing the Petition

The first step in the Arizona divorce timeline is the petition. An Arizona divorce begins when one spouse (the Petitioner) files a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the Superior Court.

The Divorce Petition outlines what the spouse is requesting regarding the division of assets and debts, the child custody terms the parent seeks, and any other financial issues such as alimony and/or child support.

Once the Petition is filed, Arizona law requires a 60-day “cooling-off” period before the court can grant the divorce.

Step 2: Serving the Papers

After filing the Petition, the Petitioner must serve the other spouse (the Respondent) with the divorce papers. This can be done through a process server, sheriff, or certified mail. In Arizona, the Respondent has 20 days (30 if out of state) to respond.

Step 3: Disclosure and Discovery

Discovery and Disclosure Phase of a Divorce in Arizona.

Next, both parties must disclose all assets, debts, income, and expenses to each other. This process, called disclosure, ensures fairness in the division of assets and the determination of support. Both parties exchange a comprehensive list of all marital and separate properties.

In addition to the basic disclosure of information and documentation, each spouse may issue a discovery request for additional information and/or documentation over and above the basic disclosure requirements as necessary.

Step 4: Negotiation and Settlement

If the parties agree on the terms of the divorce, they can submit a consent decree to the court. If they can’t agree, they may need to participate in settlement conferences or divorce mediation. Ultimately, if a settlement cannot be reached, the case will go to trial.

Step 5: Divorce Decree

Following the negotiation phase or trial, the court will issue a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage, officially ending the marriage. The decree outlines the final terms of the divorce, including asset division, custody, alimony and child support.

How long a divorce takes in Arizona can vary widely depending on the complexity of the case and the level of agreement between the parties. However, an Arizona divorce cannot be completed in less than 60 days from the date the Petition is served.

A contested divorce in Arizona can take anywhere from one to three years to complete; depending upon the complexity of the situation.

Divorce is a major life event and seeking legal advice is highly recommended. An experienced attorney can provide guidance through the Arizona divorce process and should advocate for your interests.

Divorce Attorneys Providing Information on Arizona Divorce Laws

If you have questions about Arizona divorce laws, you should seriously consider contacting the divorce attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC. Our Arizona divorce and family law attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience successfully representing clients in divorce and family law cases.

Our family law firm has earned numerous awards such as US News and World Reports Best Arizona Family Law Firm, US News and World Report Best Divorce Attorneys, “Best of the Valley” by Arizona Foothills readers, and “Best Arizona Divorce Law Firms” by North Scottsdale Magazine.

Call us today at (480)305-8300 or reach out to us through our appointment scheduling form to schedule your personalized