How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Arizona?
The court encourages you to reach agreements settling all issues in your divorce. If you agree on all issues in your case, you are allowed to submit your Marital Settlement Agreement and Consent Decree for Dissolution of Marriage to your assigned judge sixty days after the date the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage was filed and served upon the other spouse.
The sixty-day period exists because there are statutes that permit either spouse to request free marital counseling through the court’s mental health providers to try to save your marriage.
A settlement agreement negotiated and drafted by an experienced family law attorney is almost always more comprehensive and complete than any order a court may issue. This is true because you can customize all of the terms of your settlement agreement to meet your unique needs and circumstances.
Speed Up Your Divorce by Settling Your Case
Also, there are a large number of other important issues the court has no authority to issue orders about, but which can be included as an enforceable part of a Marital Settlement Agreement. Simply stated, you may gain rights through an expertly drafted settlement agreement that a court would otherwise not give you.
For example, a judge does not have the legal right to order either spouse to contribute to your children’s college education. However, the judge does have the authority to enforce such a provision contained in a Marital Settlement Agreement.
You should also be aware that many judges simply do not have the time or necessary information at the time he or she has to hear and decide your case to issue an order covering all of the numerous intricate aspects of the marital relationship. A carefully drafted Marital Settlement Agreement resolves these problems.
Factors That Influence How Long a Divorce Will Take in Arizona
The complexity and number of issues in your case may impact how long it will take to get divorced in Arizona. Cases involving child custody issues, child support issues, alimony issues, and a more complex division of property may impact how long an uncontested divorce will take. Before a case can truly be considered uncontested, both parties to the divorce must still reach agreements covering all of these issues.
Child Custody and Parenting Plans in an Uncontested Divorce
Although the parents, in principle, may agree they do not want to get into a child custody battle, they still have to create a custom Parenting Plan to submit with their Consent Decree. A Parenting Plan should contain sufficient detail to avoid parental conflicts in the future.
The Parenting Plan should cover such things as the regular weekly parenting time schedule the parents will exercise with their children, as well as a specific holiday schedule to avoid future conflicts. The Parenting Plan should also cover such things as where the children will attend school, the extracurricular activities in which the children will participate.
The Parenting Plan should also cover how changes in major decisions affecting the children will be made in the future, as well as how disputes regarding those decisions will be made in the future. As you can see, a good Parenting Plan not only addresses decisions about the present situation but also covers changes that may occur in the future.
All of the decisions and the drafting of the Parenting Plan takes time, which could cause some delay in finalizing an uncontested divorce in Arizona.
Child Support in an Uncontested Divorce
There are several factors that go into a child support calculation in an uncontested divorce. One of those factors is the amount of time each parent will spend with the children. As a result, the Parenting Plan must be agreed upon before you can move on to calculate child support in an uncontested divorce.
Even then, the parents must agree on all the other factors that need to be considered when calculating child support in an uncontested divorce case. This will, therefore, also impact how long your uncontested divorce will take in Arizona.
Alimony in an Uncontested Divorce
Decisions will have to be made whether one spouse will pay the other spouse alimony. The amount and duration of alimony may be agreed upon in which case this issue should not impact how long it will take you to get divorced. However, negotiations between the parents regarding alimony can delay how long it takes to complete an uncontested divorce.
Division of Property and Debts in an Uncontested Divorce
Dividing property and debts sounds pretty simple and straightforward and, in some cases, it is. However, there are more complex calculations that need to be made to divide retirement accounts, pensions, stock options, and other investment plans.
There may be significant income and capital gains tax issues that also need to be considered in an uncontested divorce. It may be necessary to engage the services of a Certified Public Accountant to ensure the divorce settlement is fair to both parties.
Your uncontested divorce can be simplified if you have all account numbers, account balances, and other financial information available to both parties when you are sitting down to resolve your uncontested divorce case.
The experienced uncontested divorce attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC have been assisting spouses in uncontested divorce cases for over twenty years. We are happy to handle all the details of gathering all of the information and documentation needed to complete an uncontested divorce for our clients or enable you to do all of that leg-work to complete your divorce.
Call us at (480)305-8300 to schedule your personalized consultation with one of our divorce attorneys to complete your uncontested divorce as quickly as possible.
Chris Hildebrand wrote this article about how long an uncontested divorce can take in Arizona to ensure everyone has access to information about an uncontested divorce in Arizona. Chris is a family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a divorce should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and actually caring about what his clients are going through.