Divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage that occurs through a local court procedure. The spouse to initiates the divorce is known as the petitioner; the other spouse is known as the respondent. If you or your spouse are considering divorce, below are some basic things you should know before moving forward.
When can I file for Divorce in Arizona?
Under Arizona law, referred to as the Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.), you or your spouse must have been an Arizona resident for at least 90 days before filing a petition for divorce.
What grounds must I prove for an Arizona Divorce?
Like many other states across the nation, Arizona is a no-fault divorce state. This means that neither spouse needs to give a reason for the split. Under the no-fault rule, only one spouse needs to assert the marriage is irretrievably broken. There is an exception, however; if the party chose to have a covenant marriage at the time they wed – or later convert the union to a covenant marriage – the party seeking the divorce must prove grounds found in A.R.S. 25-903. These include adultery, abandonment, physical or sexual abuse of the spouse or children, habitual drug use, or uncontested divorce, among others.
What is the Divorce Procedure in Arizona?
First, one spouse files a petition for Dissolution of Marriage, along with related initial documents, with the appropriate court. Copies of all papers must be served on the other spouse – unless service is waived in writing and filed with the court.
The responding spouse has 20 days if served in Arizona, or 30 days if served outside of Arizona to respond to the petition. If the spouse fails to respond within the appropriate time period, the filing spouse can apply for a default with the court. After a default is requested, the responding spouse has 10 days to file a response or risk the court granting the default with all the terms requested. If no response is filed within these 10 days, the petitioning spouse may obtain a default divorce by the court after 60 days from the date the other spouse was originally served with the divorce.
On the other hand, if a response is filed and both parties come to an agreement with all issues, the pair can submit a Consent Decree of Dissolution of Marriage, which details all of their agreement, for the judge to sign.
Get Divorce Help in Arizona
If you or someone you know has questions relating to a divorce or dissolution of marriage in Arizona – or any other family law-related issue – contact the experienced legal professionals at the Law Office of Ronald L. Kossack. Make sure you have a knowledgeable and seasoned Arizona divorce attorney on your side when going through a divorce. Call (480) 345-2652 or click here today to schedule your initial consultation.