Online Divorce In Arizona

Divorce is a complex and emotionally challenging process with significant legal and financial implications. In Arizona, the divorce laws may differ from those in other states, making it crucial for anyone considering a divorce to be familiar with the specific applicable regulations.
Understanding the legal framework can help individuals navigate the divorce process more smoothly and minimize potential disputes between the parties. Furthermore, being well-informed about the divorce process in Arizona can help individuals protect their rights, make informed decisions, and ultimately achieve a fair and equitable resolution to the dissolution of their marriage.

This article aims to provide a comprehensive outline for navigating online divorce in Arizona. It aims to assist individuals in understanding the legal requirements, types of divorce, and the overall process of dissolving a marriage in the state. Additionally, the article will address key aspects of divorce, such as the division of assets and debts, spousal maintenance, child custody, and child support. By providing this information, we hope to empower individuals with the knowledge and resources needed to make informed decisions and confidently navigate the complex divorce process in Arizona.

Residency Requirements

Before filing for divorce in Arizona, at least one of the spouses must meet the residency requirements. Under Arizona law (A.R.S. § 25-312), one or both spouses must have been a state resident for at least 90 days before filing the petition for dissolution of marriage. If the spouse filing for divorce is a member of the armed forces and stationed in Arizona, they must have been in the state for at least 90 days before filing.


What Are Grounds for Divorce in Arizona?

Arizona is a no-fault divorce state, meaning there is no need to prove that one spouse is responsible for the breakdown of the marriage. The only ground for divorce in Arizona is the “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” (A.R.S. § 25-312(1)). This means that either spouse can file for divorce if they believe the marriage is beyond repair and there is no hope for reconciliation. It’s important to note that the court will not consider any evidence of wrongdoing, such as adultery or abuse when deciding whether to grant the divorce. Instead, the focus is solely on whether the marriage is irretrievably broken, and no specific law number is needed to establish this ground for divorce.

Types of Divorce in Arizona

A. Uncontested divorce

An uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses agree on all divorce terms, including the division of assets and debts, child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance. In such cases, the couple can file a joint petition for dissolution of marriage, which may expedite the divorce process. This type of divorce is generally quicker, less expensive, and less emotionally draining than a contested divorce.

B. Contested divorce

A contested divorce arises when the spouses cannot agree on one or more issues related to the divorce. In this situation, the court must intervene and make decisions on the disputed matters. Contested divorces typically take longer, are more expensive, and involve more emotional stress. The parties may need to attend multiple court hearings and engage in negotiations or even a trial to resolve the disagreements.

C. Collaborative divorce

Collaborative divorce is an alternative dispute resolution process in which both parties and their attorneys work together to agree on all divorce-related issues. This process is based on cooperation, open communication, and a commitment to reaching a mutually beneficial resolution without going to court. Collaborative divorce can be less adversarial and may result in a more satisfactory outcome for both parties.

D. Legal separation

A legal separation is an option for couples who wish to live apart and divide their assets and debts without ending their marriage. It is a court-ordered arrangement that addresses property division, child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance issues. Legal separation may be preferred by some couples for religious, financial, or personal reasons. However, it’s important to note that a legal separation does not terminate the marriage. The spouses are not free to remarry unless they later decide to convert the legal separation into a divorce.


Steps to File Divorce In Arizona

Step 1. Filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

The first step in the divorce process is to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the Clerk of the Superior Court in the county where one of the spouses resides. The petition includes information about the spouses, their children (if any), the grounds for divorce, and the desired terms for property division, child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance. The spouse who files the petition is called the “petitioner,” while the other spouse is referred to as the “respondent.”

Step 2. Serving the divorce papers

After filing the petition, the petitioner must serve the divorce papers on the respondent. This includes a copy of the filed petition, a summons, and other required documents, such as a preliminary injunction and a notice about the availability of parenting classes (if the couple has minor children). The respondent must be served in person, typically by a private process server or a sheriff’s deputy. Good service is essential, as it provides the respondent with notice of the divorce proceedings and the opportunity to participate.

Step 3. Responding to the petition

The respondent has 20 days (if served within Arizona) or 30 days (if served outside Arizona) to file a response with the court after being served with the divorce papers (A.R.S. § 25-334). In the response, the respondent can agree or disagree with the claims and terms proposed by the petitioner. Suppose the respondent fails to file a response within the designated time. In that case, the petitioner can request a default judgment, which means the court may grant the divorce based on the terms proposed by the petitioner without the respondent’s input.

Step 4. Negotiating the terms of the divorce

If the divorce is contested, the spouses will need to negotiate the divorce terms, either directly, through their attorneys, or during mediation. The goal is to reach a mutual agreement on property division, child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance issues. If the couple can reach an agreement, they can submit a Consent Decree of Dissolution of Marriage to the court, which outlines the agreed-upon terms.

Step 5. Attending court hearings and mediation (if necessary)

Suppose the spouses cannot reach an agreement. In that case, they may be required to attend court hearings or participate in mediation, which is an alternative dispute resolution process facilitated by a neutral third party. Mediation can help the parties find a mutually acceptable resolution to their disputes without needing a trial. If mediation is unsuccessful, the case may proceed to trial, where a judge will make the final decisions on the contested issues.

Step 6. Finalizing the divorce

Once the spouses have reached an agreement or the judge has decided on the contested issues, the court will issue a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage, which legally terminates the marriage (A.R.S. § 25-325). The decree outlines the divorce terms, including property division, child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance. Both spouses must abide by the decree’s terms, and failure to do so may result in legal consequences.



Spousal Maintenance (Alimony)

A. Types of spousal maintenance

In Arizona, spousal maintenance, or alimony, is a payment made by one spouse to the other to provide financial support after a divorce. There are two primary types of spousal maintenance in Arizona:

  1. Temporary spousal maintenance: This type of maintenance may be awarded during the divorce process to help the lower-earning spouse meet their financial needs while the case is pending. Temporary spousal maintenance ends when the divorce is finalized, and the court determines the appropriate long-term maintenance arrangement, if any.
  2. Post-divorce spousal maintenance: This type of maintenance is awarded as part of the final divorce decree and is intended to help the lower-earning spouse transition to financial independence after the marriage ends. Post-divorce spousal maintenance may be awarded for a specific duration or indefinitely in rare cases.

B. Factors considered in determining spousal maintenance

According to Arizona Revised Statutes § 25-319, the court considers several factors when determining whether to award spousal maintenance, the amount to be awarded and the duration of the maintenance. These factors include:

  1. The standard of living is established during the marriage.
  2. The duration of the marriage.
  3. The age, employment history, earning ability, and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance.
  4. The ability of the spouse to provide maintenance to meet their own needs while also meeting the needs of the spouse seeking maintenance.
  5. The comparative financial resources of the spouses, including their earning abilities and separate property.
  6. The contribution of the spouse seeking maintenance to the earning ability of the other spouse, such as by supporting their education or career.
  7. The extent to which the spouse seeking maintenance has reduced their income or career opportunities for the benefit of the other spouse or the family.
  8. The ability of both spouses to contribute to the future educational costs of their children, if applicable.
  9. The financial resources of the spouse seeking maintenance, including their ability to meet their own needs independently.
  10. The time necessary for the spouse seeking maintenance to acquire sufficient education or training to enable them to find appropriate employment and become self-sufficient.
  11. The productivity and value of any community property awarded to the spouse seeking maintenance.
  12. Any actions or agreements by either spouse that affected the value or preservation of their community or separate property.
  13. The cost for the spouse seeking maintenance to obtain health insurance, and the reduction in the cost of health insurance for the spouse providing maintenance if the spouse seeking maintenance is provided insurance under the providing spouse’s policy.
  14. Any other factors the court deems relevant to achieve a fair and equitable spousal maintenance arrangement.

It’s important to note that Arizona has no fixed formula for calculating spousal maintenance. The court has broad discretion in weighing these factors in determining an appropriate maintenance award based on the specific circumstances of each case.



Child Custody and Parenting Time

A. Types of custody arrangements

In Arizona, child custody refers to parents’ legal rights and responsibilities regarding their minor children. Child custody has two primary aspects: legal decision-making authority and parenting time.

  1. Legal decision-making authority: This aspect of custody involves the right and responsibility to make significant decisions about the child’s upbringing, such as education, healthcare, and religious matters. Parents may be awarded joint legal decision-making authority, meaning both parents share the responsibility for making important decisions, or sole legal decision-making authority, where one parent is responsible for these decisions.
  2. Parenting time: This aspect of custody refers to each parent’s time with the child. Parenting time schedules can vary significantly, ranging from equal parenting time to situations where one parent has primary physical custody, and the other parent has visitation rights.

B. Factors considered in determining custody and parenting time

According to Arizona Revised Statutes § 25-403, the court considers the child’s best interests when determining legal decision-making authority and parenting time. Factors the court may consider include:

  1. The wishes of the child’s parents regarding custody.
  2. The child’s wishes, if the child is of sufficient age and maturity to express a preference.
  3. The interaction and relationship between the child and each parent, as well as the child’s relationship with their siblings and other significant individuals.
  4. The child’s adjustment to home, school, and community.
  5. The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.
  6. Which parent is more likely to encourage frequent, meaningful, and continuing contact between the child and the other parent?
  7. Whether one parent intentionally misled the court to gain an advantage in the custody proceeding or engaged in domestic violence or child abuse.
  8. The nature and extent of coercion or duress used by a parent in obtaining an agreement regarding custody.
  9. Whether a parent has completed a court-ordered parenting education course.
  10. Any other factors the court deems relevant to the child’s best interests.

C. Modifying custody and parenting time arrangements

Under Arizona Revised Statutes § 25-411, either parent may petition the court to modify an existing custody or parenting time order if there has been a significant and continuing change in circumstances since the entry of the original order and if the modification is in the best interests of the child. Generally, a parent must wait at least one year from the date of the previous order before requesting a modification unless certain exceptions apply, such as the child’s immediate physical or emotional health is in danger.

When considering a modification request, the court will evaluate the same best interest factors listed in A.R.S. § 25-403 and any additional evidence demonstrating that the change in circumstances warrants a modification of the existing custody or parenting time arrangement.



Child Support

A. Guidelines for child support

In Arizona, both parents are legally obligated to financially support their minor children. The state has established child support guidelines to ensure that children receive adequate support from both parents. The guidelines are based on an “Income Shares Model,” which considers both parents’ incomes, the number of children, and other relevant factors to calculate the child support amount. The Arizona Child Support Guidelines in the Arizona Revised Statutes § 25-320 are designed to ensure that the child support obligations are fair and equitable.

B. Factors affecting child support obligations

Several factors are considered when determining child support obligations under the Arizona Child Support Guidelines, including:

  1. The gross income of both parents, including wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, and other sources of income.
  2. Any spousal maintenance payments being made or received by either parent.
  3. The amount of parenting time each parent has with the child, as affects the allocation of certain expenses.
  4. The cost of medical, dental, and vision insurance premiums for the child.
  5. Any childcare expenses are necessary for the parents to maintain employment or attend school.
  6. The child’s educational expenses, including tuition for private or special schools, if applicable.
  7. Any extraordinary expenses related to the child’s special needs or extracurricular activities.

C. Modifying child support

Child support orders can be modified if a substantial and continuing change in circumstances affects the child support calculation, such as a significant increase or decrease in either parent’s income, a change in the child’s needs, or a change in parenting time arrangements. According to Arizona Revised Statutes § 25-327, a parent may request a review of their child support order for modification if it has been at least three years since the last order was entered, modified, or reviewed or if a significant change in circumstances has occurred that would result in at least a 15% change in the child support amount.

To request a modification, a parent must petition the court, providing evidence of the changed circumstances and the proposed new child support amount. The court will review the petition, along with any supporting documentation, and determine if a modification is warranted based on the best interests of the child and in accordance with the Arizona Child Support Guidelines.

Forms Needed To File Divorce In Arkansas

Forms For Divorce Without Children (Free Download)


Form DRSDS10F-A-030617 – Sensitive Data Cover Sheet

A sensitive Data Cover Sheet is a form used to protect sensitive or confidential information in certain court filings. It is a separate document attached to a filed document to keep sensitive information restricted and accessible only to authorized individuals, such as court personnel, parties, and their attorneys.

The purpose of the Sensitive Data Cover Sheet is to prevent public exposure of sensitive data like Social Security numbers, financial account numbers, or other personal information, thus helping to maintain privacy and avoid potential identity theft or fraud.

In simple terms, a Sensitive Data Cover Sheet protects confidential information in certain court documents, ensuring that sensitive details are not exposed to the general public when documents are filed with the court.


Form DR11F-041017  – Summons

This form is an essential document in divorce. It serves as a formal notification to the other spouse (the respondent) that the filing spouse (the petitioner) has initiated a divorce action.

In simple terms, the Summons form:

  1. Informs the respondent that they are being sued for divorce.
  2. Provides instructions on how and when to respond to the divorce petition.
  3. Specifies the deadline for the respondent to file a response, typically within 20 days of receiving the Summons (or 30 days if they are located outside Arizona).
  4. Advises the respondent of the consequences of not responding in time, which may result in a default judgment granting the petitioner’s requests.

The Summons form helps ensure that the respondent is aware of the divorce action and has an opportunity to participate in the legal process. It is crucial to follow the proper procedures for serving the Summons and the divorce petition on the respondent to avoid delays or complications in the divorce process.


Form DR14F-041017 – Preliminary Injunction

A Preliminary Injunction is a court order that sets certain rules and restrictions for both parties during the divorce process. Simply put, it aims to maintain the status quo and prevent either spouse from taking actions that could negatively affect the other spouse or marital assets. Some common restrictions may include the following:

  1. Selling, transferring, or hiding marital assets.
  2. Harassing, threatening, or causing harm to the other spouse.
  3. Changing or canceling insurance policies.
  4. Relocating out of state with joint assets.

The Preliminary Injunction helps protect both parties’ interests and ensures a fair resolution of the divorce case.


Form DRDA10F-031717 – Petition for Dissolution of a Non Covenant Marriage (Divorce) Without Minor Children

This is a legal document filed in Arizona to initiate the divorce process when the couple does not have minor children together and is not in a covenant marriage. In simple terms, this form serves to:

  1. Officially request the court to dissolve (end) the non-covenant marriage.
  2. Outline the reasons for seeking divorce and the grounds for dissolution.
  3. Specify the petitioner’s (the spouse filing for divorce) requests regarding the division of assets, debts, spousal support, and other relevant matters.
  4. Provide necessary information about the marriage, such as the date and location, current residency of both spouses, and the length of time they have lived in Arizona.

The petitioner formally begins the legal divorce process by filling out this form. The court is asked to consider and grant the requested relief, subject to the applicable laws and regulations.


Form DRD16F-111716 – Notice of Your Rights About Health Insurance Coverage

This form serves to:

  1. Inform both parties of their rights and responsibilities for maintaining health insurance coverage during and after the divorce process.
  2. Notify each spouse about their options to continue health insurance coverage under the other spouse’s plan through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) or the Arizona state continuation law if they lose coverage due to the divorce.
  3. Explain the responsibilities of the spouse who provides health insurance to notify the insurance carrier about the divorce and the other spouse’s right to continue coverage.

This form helps ensure that both spouses know their rights and options regarding health insurance coverage, and it promotes transparency and fairness in handling health insurance matters during the divorce process.


Form DR16F-041017 – Notice Regarding Creditors

The Notice Regarding Creditors form is used in the divorce process to inform both parties about their rights and responsibilities concerning joint and individual debts during and after the divorce. In simple terms, this form serves to:

  1. Remind both spouses that they are responsible for any debts incurred during the marriage, regardless of which spouse incurred the debt.
  2. Explain that the court may allocate the responsibility for paying off marital debts between the spouses as part of the divorce settlement.
  3. Notify the parties that they may be held individually responsible for the entire debt if the other spouse fails to make the required payments on a joint debt.
  4. Encourage the parties to keep each other informed about any changes in their financial situations, including any new debts they may incur.

This form aims to promote fairness and transparency in handling debts during the divorce process and ensure that both spouses understand their rights and obligations regarding marital debts.


Form DRDA31F-051217 – Response to Petition for Dissolution of Marriage Without Children

This form is used by the respondent (the spouse who did not initiate the divorce) to agree or disagree with the requests made in the divorce petition and present their requests to the court.


Form DRAD10F-061917 – Alternative Dispute Resolution Statement to the Court

The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Statement to the Court is a form used to inform the court about the parties’ willingness to participate in alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration, to resolve their disagreements during the divorce process instead of going through a trial.


Form DRD61F-043012 – Application and Affidavit for Default in Family Court Cases

This form is used when the respondent (the spouse who did not initiate the divorce) fails to respond to the divorce petition within the required time frame. The petitioner files this form to request the court to enter a default judgment, granting the requests outlined in the original divorce petition.


Form DRD68F-011516  – Motion and Affidavit for Default Decree Without Hearing

The petitioner files this form in a divorce case when the respondent has failed to respond, and a default has been entered. This form requests the court to finalize the divorce and grant the petitioner’s requests without scheduling a hearing based on the information provided in the divorce documents.


Form DRTP52F-031414  – Motion to Set Trial Date and Certificate of Readiness

This form is filed by a party in a divorce case to request the court to schedule a trial date. The form also certifies that the case is ready for trial and that all required steps, such as exchanging financial disclosures and attempting mediation, have been completed or attempted.


DR71F-010123 – Consent Decree for a Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation

This form is used when both parties agree on all divorce or legal separation issues. The form outlines the terms of their agreement and requests the court to approve and finalize their divorce or legal separation based on the agreed-upon terms.


DRDA81F-113017 Decree of Dissolution of Marriage Without Minor Children


This is the final court order that legally ends a marriage when no minor children are involved. This document outlines the court’s decisions regarding the division of assets, debts, and other relevant matters, effectively finalizing the divorce process.


Forms For Filing For A Divorce With Minor Children (Free Download)


DRSDS10F-C-030117 – Sensitive Data Cover Sheet with ChildrenFree Download

Form DR11F-041017  – Summons Free Download

Form DR14F-041017 – Preliminary Injunction – Free Download

Form DRDC15F-041217 –  Petition for a Dissolution of a Non Covenant Marriage with Minor Children – Free Download

Form DRD16F-111716 – Notice of Your Rights About Health Insurance Coverage Free Download

Form DR12F-041217 – Order and Notice to Attend Parent Education Program Class Free Download

Form DRCVG13F-030217  – Affidavit Regarding Minor ChildrenFree Download

Form DR16F-041017 – Notice Regarding CreditorsFree Download

Form DRCVG12H-121516  – Parenting Plan – – Free Download

Form DRS88F-072519  – Current Employer Information FormFree Download

Form DRDC31F-042517 – Response to Petition for Dissolution of a Non Covenant Marriage with Minor ChildrenFree Download

Form DRAD10F-061917 – Alternative Dispute Resolution Statement to the CourtFree Download

Form DR71F-010123 – Application and Affidavit for Default in Family Court CasesFree Download

Form DRTP52F-031414 – Motion to Set Trial Date and Certificate of ReadinessFree Download

Form DR71F-010123 – Consent Decree of a Dissolution of Marriage or Legal SeparationFree Download

Form DRDC81F-113017  – Decree of Dissolution of a Non Covenant Marriage with Minor Children – Free Download[/column]

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About Instant Online Divorce

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  • How long does it typically take to finalize a divorce in Arizona?

    The duration of a divorce process in Arizona can vary significantly depending on the specific circumstances of each case. Generally, a divorce in Arizona can take a few months to over a year to finalize. Several factors can influence the timeline:

    1. Mandatory waiting period: Arizona has a mandatory 60-day waiting period from the date the respondent (the spouse who did not file for divorce) is served with the divorce papers before a divorce can be granted. This waiting period is in place to allow the parties time to reconcile or work out any agreements.
    2. Uncontested vs. contested divorce: If both spouses agree on all issues related to the divorce, such as property division, child custody, and spousal maintenance, the divorce is considered uncontested. Uncontested divorces typically take less time to finalize, as there is no need for lengthy negotiations or court hearings. On the other hand, contested divorces, where the spouses cannot agree on one or more issues, usually take longer, as the court may need to intervene to resolve disputes.
    3. Court backlog: The timeline of a divorce can also be affected by the workload of the court system. If the court has a significant backlog of cases, it may take longer for a judge to review the case and decide on the contested issues.
    4. The complexity of the case: The complexity of the case can also impact the duration of the divorce process. Cases involving high-net-worth individuals, complex property divisions, or contentious child custody disputes may require additional time for negotiation, discovery, and court hearings.

    Taking these factors into account, a straightforward, uncontested divorce can be finalized within a few months after the 60-day waiting period. However, contested divorces or those with complex issues may take a year or more to resolve. 

  • Can I represent myself in a divorce proceeding in Arizona?

    In Arizona, you are allowed to represent yourself in a divorce proceeding, which is known as being a “pro se” litigant. However, there are certain factors to consider before deciding to represent yourself in a divorce case:

    1. Complexity of the case: If your divorce is uncontested, meaning both you and your spouse agree on all issues related to the divorce, self-representation may be a viable option. However, if your case involves disputes over property division, child custody, or spousal maintenance, representing yourself can become challenging, especially if you are not familiar with Arizona’s divorce laws and procedures.
    2. Knowledge of the law: Divorce law can be complex and nuanced, with specific statutes, rules, and guidelines that must be followed. If you choose to represent yourself, you will be held to the same standards as an attorney when it comes to understanding the law and following proper procedures. This can be a difficult task if you do not have legal training or experience.
    3. Emotional stress: Divorce can be an emotionally challenging time, and representing yourself may add to the stress. It can be difficult to remain objective and focused on the legal issues when you are emotionally invested in the outcome.
    4. Time commitment: Handling a divorce case on your own can be time-consuming, as you will need to research the law, prepare and file documents, and attend court hearings. This may be particularly difficult if you are also juggling work, family, and other responsibilities.
    5. Potential for mistakes: Without legal training, it’s easy to make mistakes when representing yourself in a divorce case. These mistakes can lead to unfavorable outcomes or delays in the divorce process.

    While it is possible to represent yourself in a divorce proceeding in Arizona, it may not always be the best option. It is generally recommended to consult with an experienced divorce attorney who can guide you through the process and advocate for your interests. If you are concerned about the cost of hiring an attorney, you may be able to find low-cost or pro bono legal services through local legal aid organizations or bar associations.

  • How much it can cost to file a divorce in Arizona?

    The cost of filing for divorce in Arizona can vary depending on several factors, such as whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, and if you choose to hire an attorney or represent yourself. Here is a breakdown of some common expenses associated with filing for divorce in Arizona:

    1. Court filing fees: To initiate a divorce in Arizona, you will need to pay a filing fee when submitting the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. As of September 2021, the filing fee for a divorce in Arizona is around $349. Keep in mind that fees may change, so it’s essential to verify the current fee with your local court. If you cannot afford the filing fee, you may apply for a fee waiver or deferral, which will be granted based on your financial situation.
    2. Service of process fees: After filing the divorce petition, you are required to serve the divorce papers on your spouse. This can be done by a private process server, the county sheriff’s department, or, in some cases, through certified mail. The fees for service of process can range from $25 to $100 or more, depending on the method used and the location of your spouse.
    3. Attorney’s fees: If you decide to hire a divorce attorney, the cost will vary depending on the attorney’s hourly rate, the complexity of your case, and whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. Hourly rates for divorce attorneys in Arizona can range from $200 to $400 or more. For a relatively simple, uncontested divorce, you may be able to find an attorney who offers a flat fee arrangement. However, if your case involves disputes over property division, child custody, or spousal maintenance, legal fees can quickly add up. It’s essential to discuss fees and costs with your attorney upfront to have a clear understanding of the potential expenses.
    4. Mediation and other professional fees: If your case requires mediation or the involvement of other professionals, such as a child custody evaluator, appraiser, or financial expert, you may incur additional costs. Mediation fees can range from $100 to $300 per hour or more, while fees for other professionals will depend on their specific services and expertise.
    5. Miscellaneous fees: Throughout the divorce process, you may encounter other expenses, such as fees for obtaining certified copies of documents, filing motions or petitions with the court, or attending court-ordered parenting classes.

    The total cost of a divorce in Arizona can vary widely depending on the specifics of your case and whether you choose to hire an attorney. For a simple, uncontested divorce without attorney representation, the cost may be limited to the court filing fees and service of process fees. However, for a contested divorce or a case involving complex issues, the overall cost can be significantly higher. It’s important to carefully consider your options and seek the appropriate professional assistance to navigate the divorce process.

  • A covenant marriage is a type of legally distinct marriage available in Arizona, which is designed to promote stronger, more lasting marriages by adding specific requirements for entering into and dissolving the marriage. Couples who choose to enter a covenant marriage must undergo premarital counseling and agree to work towards preserving their marriage should they face challenges.

    Covenant marriages affect the divorce process in Arizona in the following ways:

    1. Limited grounds for divorce: In a covenant marriage, the grounds for divorce are more limited compared to a standard marriage. In Arizona, couples in a covenant marriage can only file for divorce under the following grounds:

    • a. Adultery
    • b. Abandonment for at least a year
    • c. Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of the spouse or a child
    • d. Imprisonment of the spouse for a felony conviction
    • e. The spouses have been living separately for at least two years
    • f. The spouses have been living separately for at least one year after obtaining a legal separation
    • g. Habitual drug or alcohol abuse

    2. Legal separation: Before filing for divorce, couples in a covenant marriage may be required to pursue legal separation and attempt reconciliation. During the legal separation, the couple must undergo marital counseling in an effort to preserve the marriage.

    3. Waiting period: In a covenant marriage, there is a longer waiting period before the divorce can be finalized. After filing for divorce, the couple must wait at least 180 days (compared to the standard 60-day waiting period in a non-covenant marriage) before the divorce can be granted by the court.

    4. Covenant marriage declaration: Couples who are already married can also choose to convert their existing marriage into a covenant marriage by signing a declaration and submitting it to the clerk of the court. This declaration affirms their intention to convert their marriage to a covenant marriage and adhere to the requirements and limitations associated with it.

    While a covenant marriage adds specific requirements and limitations to the divorce process, the core aspects of divorce—such as property division, child custody, and spousal maintenance—are still governed by the same laws and guidelines that apply to standard marriages in Arizona. Couples considering entering a covenant marriage should carefully weigh the implications and consult with an experienced family law attorney to fully understand the legal consequences.

  • How do you get a divorce in Arizona when you don’t know where your spouse is?

    If you wish to file for divorce but do not know your spouse’s whereabouts, you can still proceed with the divorce process. Here are the general steps to follow when filing for divorce in such a situation:

    1. File the divorce petition: First, you must prepare and file the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the appropriate court in your county. This document outlines the basic facts about your marriage and the grounds for divorce.
    2. Do a diligent search: Before the court can grant a divorce, you must demonstrate that you have diligently tried locating your spouse. This may include contacting friends, relatives, or former employers, checking social media platforms, searching public records, using online people search tools, or hiring a private investigator. Keep a record of your search efforts as evidence.
    3. Request permission for alternate Service: If your efforts to locate your spouse have been unsuccessful, you can petition the court to allow alternate Service methods. You must file a motion, sometimes called a Motion for Service by Publication or a Motion for Alternative Service, in which you describe the steps you have taken to locate your spouse and request the court’s permission to serve the divorce papers using an alternate method.
    4. Serve the divorce papers through alternative means: If the court grants your request for alternate Service, you will be allowed to serve the divorce papers using the court-approved method. This may include Service by publication, where you publish a notice of the divorce in a local newspaper for a period, usually around 4 weeks. Alternatively, the court may allow Service by posting a notice at the courthouse or other designated public places.
    5. Wait for the response period to elapse: Once the divorce papers have been served through the approved alternate method, your spouse will have a certain response period, typically around 30 days. If your spouse does not respond within the allotted time, you can proceed with the divorce as a default case.
    6. Request a default judgment: After the response period has elapsed, you can file a request for a default judgment. The court will review your case, and if everything is in order, the judge will grant the divorce by issuing a default judgment, which finalizes the divorce.

    It’s important to note that the specific procedures and requirements for filing for divorce when your spouse’s whereabouts are unknown may vary depending on your jurisdiction. It is highly recommended to consult with an experienced family law attorney in your state who can guide you through the process and ensure that you comply with all legal requirements.

  • Do I have to go to the court to get the Divorce in Arizona?

    Court appearance will depend on the state you file your petition. Some state will require you to submit all the documents and forms without the need of setting foot in the court house and there are some states that require a court appearance before the Judge before a divorce decree is finalized. No matter from which of these states you file, settling and resolving your differences before filing your petition will play a big role.

  • How is child custody or child support is settled in Arizona divorce?

    Arizona have adopted guidelines for child custody and support that is taken into consideration by a Judge when the order is made. If both parties reach an agreement that does not follow the guidelines, court will likely monitor and review the case very closely to be certain that the agreement is to the best advantage of the child and not the parents before it is approved

  • How to divide property, assets and debts in Arizona divorce?

    Arizona court will normally grant and approve the division of all/any assets, debts or real property if both parties have amicable agreed on the division by themselves. However, if you and your spouse cannot determine how to divide, courts in Arizona will divide and settle under two basic measures: community property or equitable distribution. In community property state, all assets and debts accrued during the marriage will be split equally in 50-50. In equitable distribution states, assets and debts accumulated during marriages are divided equitably (fairly) but not necessarily equally. Some of these states may order one party to use separate property to make the settlement fair to both spouses.

  • How to serve divorce papers in Arizona to the other party?

    In order to serve the divorce papers in Arizona, you can hire a professional process server or have a friend or family member serve the divorce papers in Arizona. But you cannot serve the papers to your ex yourself.

    a. Certified Mail, return receipt requested – Serving divorce papers by certified mail require that your spouse sign a paper that is attached to the envelope when they receive the petition which must be signed and returned.
    b. Personal Service – The constable, sheriff, or professional process server will deliver the court papers to your spouse who must complete a return of service that says when, where and how they were served.
    c. Service by publication – When all the other method fails, service by publication will be permitted by the court. This involves publicizing the divorce petition in a newspaper where your spouse is expected to be living for an adequate length of time. You will have to return a copy of the newspaper notice, with a declaration for how long the notice ran, to the court for proof of service.


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