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How To File For Divorce In Arizona

Mistake #: Improperly Serving Court Papers On The Other Party

How to File For Divorce in Arizona

Consequence: Being unable to force compliance on your spouse because YOU didnt serve the papers correctly.

Solution: Service is legal notice to the opposing party that papers have been filed in court which may affect that persons rights and interests. Always follow proper procedures for serving papers on the other party.

When you file the petition for dissolution of marriage with the Superior Court Clerk, the summons and court papers must be served on the other party. This is referred to as service of process and it is essential that this be carried out properly improper service means pretty much the same thing as no legal notice at all.

Once you have filed the divorce papers, you will be motioning the court for orders. The documents and pleadings associated with your request must be served properly and within a reasonable amount of time to the opposing party.

Depending on the issue being addressed, service may require a process server or require service by mail. The court cannot issue orders on your motion until the opposing party is served. If you fail to properly serve the opposing party, you have wasted your time, effort, and money.

Pay attention! Proper service is a necessary part of your case and it is vital that it be done properly.

Serve Your Spouse And Wait For A Response

The spouse who files for divorce in Arizona is required to file a Summons this document is served to your spouse and includes instructions for how they must respond. If the Respondent does not respond in the allotted time, the Petitioner may ask the court to begin default proceedings. After default proceedings start, the Petitioner will have another grace period in which to file a response. If they fail to do so, the Petitioner may submit a final request for default judgment accompanied by their proposed default decree, which the judge in your case can sign off on 90 days after the petition is filed.

Do You Meet Arizona’s Residency And Jurisdiction Requirements For Divorce

Before you may file for divorce in Arizona, either you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least the previous 90 days. If you just moved to the state, you’ll have to wait to file for divorce until you meet the 90-day residency requirement. .)

Also, if your divorce is going to address any child custody issues, Arizona must have “jurisdiction”the legal authority to decide those issues. Usually, your minor children must have lived in the state with a parent for at least six months before the filing date . If you don’t meet the six-month requirement, you should speak with an experienced family lawyer to find out whether you qualify for any of the complicated exceptions in the law. .)

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After Service Is Complete

After service, your spouse has a limited time to file a Response. If served in the state of Arizona, your spouse has 20 calendar days after service to respond. If served outside of Arizona, your spouse has 30 calendar days after service to respond.

AZ Statewide Paralegal offers professional legal document preparation services. We have decades of experience preparing documents for divorces in Arizona. By using our service you can avoid the expense of a high priced attorney so that you can focus your financial resources on helping your family make necessary transitions after your divorce. There is no need to worry about deadlines and properly completing the forms. We know what to ask and provide this service to hundreds of clients each year. Contact our office in Tucson, Phoenix, or Mesa today so that we can walk you through the divorce legal document preparation services we offer.

Gathering Your Important Information

Decree of Divorce with Children

No matter your circumstances, you will benefit from being organized at the outset when it comes to tracking down the financial documentation that youll need.

Many parts of divorce can be overwhelming, so any steps you can take to save time and reduce stress and anxiety should be a priority for you early in the process.

Divorce Information Checklist you can check out here.

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Arizona’s Requirements For Serving And Responding To Divorce Papers

Service of process is an essential part of the American legal system because it ensures that everyone has notice about what’s going on and an opportunity to “appear,” or argue, their point of view.

In most Arizona counties, the petitioner must serve the respondent with the divorce papers. If your spouse is cooperating with an uncontested divorce, the easiest way to do this is simply to mail or hand over the copies and have your spouse sign an Acceptance of Service form . Otherwise, you may arrange have a deputy sheriff or other authorized process server deliver the papers personally. Or you may send the documents by mail or national courier service, as long as it requires a receipt signed by your spouse. Ask the court clerk about special procedures if you aren’t able to find or serve your spouse by the normal means, or if your spouse is incarcerated or out of the country. .)

Note that these service requirements won’t apply in Maricopa County if you and your spouse filed for a joint petition and response for a summary consent divorce. Otherwise, you should serve the papers as soon as possible in order to move your case along. If you don’t file proof of service with the court within 120 days after filing the petition, your case will be dismissedand you’ll have to start all overunless a judge extends the time for a good reason. .)

Grounds For Dissolution Of Marriage In Arizona

For the vast majority of divorces in Arizona, there is only one legal reason for divorcethat your marriage is “irretrievably broken,” which means you believe there’s no reasonable chance of fixing it and getting back together. If you file for an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse should agree on this. .)

Arizona’s grounds for divorce are different for couples in what’s known as “covenant marriages.” You should speak with a lawyer if you have a covenant marriage and want to divorce. You won’t be able to use the forms and procedures discussed below. .)

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How To File For Divorce In Tucson Az

Realizing that you need to divorce your spouse can be stressful, exhausting, and emotionally draining a divorce entails preparing mounds of paperwork, and the impending visit to court can make things even worse. If children and/or assets are involved, this process becomes longer and requires more paperwork and court visits. However, the divorce process doesnât have to be this draining and burdensome if you enlist the help of a well-trained divorce attorney. The law office of Elkins & Muir, PLLC has helped many other spouses, such as yourself, in the Tucson area get their divorces resolved in a quick and easy manner without all of the extra hassles.

We can help you settle any disputes with child custody, child support, and any division of assets. We can streamline the divorce process and get it resolved as quickly as possible. We handle each case with compassion and understanding and treat each client with the respect that they deserve.

Getting An Online Divorce In

How to file Arizona Divorce Papers Online

Requirements to use our online divorce service:

1. You must know the location of your spouse.

2. You and your spouse must be able to agree on all the terms of the divorce, such as division of property and debt, child custody and any support issues.

We have spent more than 15 years helping people file for and complete their divorce. Unlike many other online divorce services, our services dont end once you file your initial divorce papers. We also want to make sure you are easily able to finalize your divorce as quickly as state divorce law allows. We understand that even with step-by-step instructions to guide you through the process, it can still be overwhelming. Thats why our service continues to provide you support even after you have your completed divorce papers in hand. Included with our service is the option to schedule a phone consultation with your case manager who can answer any questions you may have or even walk you through each step of the process if necessary.

Whether you have children, own a home or own other property, as long as you and your spouse can reach an agreement on all such issues, then you qualify to handle your divorce online.

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What Is A Separation Agreement

A Separation Agreement is a legally binding agreement used by two people in a marriage who have while remaining legally married, or before they petition for a divorce. This written contract defines how property, assets, bills, debts, spousal support, and other shared responsibilities, such as child custody or support, will be allocated.

A Separation Agreement is also often referred to as:

How To File For Divorce Without A Lawyer

A divorce process may not need a lawyer in Arizona if it is a consent decree process. Here, both parties agree on the divorce and other adjoining matters such as child custody, spousal support, parenting time, property settlement, debt division and other issues. When this happens, the court issues a consent decree because both parties have signed all required documents to make it happen. Also, the services of a lawyer may not be necessary if none of these adjoining issues exists between both parties. For example, if there is no need for a restraining or protection orders for either spouse if they both consent to the divorce.

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Arizona Divorce Proceedings: Mediation Vs Litigation

Although Arizona divorce requires a number of specific steps, how those steps are completed depends upon the approach taken to manage the divorce process. As you review the required steps, you will be able to easily compare mediation vs. litigation, and begin to formulate an idea about which approach will best suit your needs

Legal Separation In Arizona

Arizona Divorce Handbook

The process of legal separation in Arizona is a similar to divorce in that the court enters orders regarding legal decision making, parenting time and child support, as well as division of assets/debts and spousal maintenance however, the parties are still legally married at the end of a legal separation, whereas the marriage is terminated at the end of a divorce. Learn more about Legal Separation

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How Is Alimony Determined In Arizona

In Arizona, alimony is known as maintenance. In deciding whether to award maintenance and the amount and duration, the judge must determine some factors.

The amount and duration of maintenance take into account the following factors:

  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The age, employment, earning ability, and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance
  • The ability of the other spouse to meet their needs while paying maintenance
  • Comparative financial resources and earning abilities
  • Contribution of the spouse seeking maintenance to the others earning ability
  • The extent to which the spouse seeking maintenance has reduced income or career opportunities for the others benefit
  • The ability of both to contribute to the educational costs of the children
  • Financial resources, and ability to meet the needs of the party seeking maintenance
  • The time needed to acquire education or training to find appropriate employment
  • Excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment, or fraudulent disposition of community or jointly owned property
  • The cost of health insurance for both parties and
  • Damages and judgments from criminal conviction of either spouse in which the other spouse or child was the victim.

Filing And Serving The Divorce Petition

To begin the divorce process in Arizona, one spouse will file a Petition for Dissolution and several related documents. The spouse who files is referred to the Petitioner throughout these documents, while the spouse served with the petition is known as the Respondent.

To file for divorce in Arizona, at least one spouse must have resided in Arizona for the previous 90 days. If any children are involved, they must have been residents of Arizona for the last six months.

When you file for Dissolution of Marriage in Arizona, you or your divorce lawyer will need to complete and submit the following documents to your countys Superior Court:

  • Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
  • Preliminary Injunction
  • Information on the Arizona Parenting Class

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Can The Court Deviate From The Child Support Guidelines

Generally, child support determined using the Arizona Child Support Guidelines will be ordered by the judge. However, when this amount is unjust, and it is in the best interests of the child to deviate to a higher or lower amount, the court can grant the deviation.

Often in mediation, parents agree to deviate the amount based upon what it is in the best interests of their children

Requirements For Divorce In Arizona

What Is A Default Divorce in Arizona
  • Arizona is a no-fault divorce state. You are not required to prove any fault to get a divorce.

  • Instead, in Arizona either spouse must state that their marriage is broken irretrievably without any prospect of reconciliation.

  • Your spouse or you must have resided in the county where youre filing for a divorce for a minimum of 90 days before filing a Petition for Divorce.

  • Any children from this marriage should have resided in Arizona for a minimum period of 6 months before the court has the judicial authority to pass judgment regarding child custody and parenting time.

  • From the time that you file your petition for divorce, there is a waiting period of a minimum of 60 days before the judge will approve your divorce.

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Serve The Petition For Dissolution Of Marriage And Other Documents To The Other Party

With the documents completed and filed, you can now proceed to the next part of the divorce process. Service is that next part of the process, and it can be quite complex.

The purpose of serving the other party the paperwork is to give them legal notice of what you intend to do. You can go about serving the documents in one of two ways.

The first method involves enlisting the help of an unrelated party in delivery. Approach a registered process server or a law enforcement officer tasked with serving papers to make the delivery to the other party.

The other method involves having the other party sign an Acceptance of Service prior to serving the documents. To be considered valid, the signing must take place in front of a notary or a clerk of the superior court. Its also worth pointing out here that you cannot deliver the documents yourself unless the other party signs that Acceptance of Service.

Now that youve served the other party with the relevant documents, you can return to the clerk of court and file the proof of service.

Also, you must serve the documents to the other party within 120 days after your initial filing.

Mistake #: Assuming Fill

Consequence: Falling victim to unexpected financial consequences.

Solution: Use generic fill-in-the-blank separation agreements only as an outline. Carefully and clearly tailor your separation agreement to meet your needs and the needs of your children.

A well-written separation agreement will include every detail of your settlement with the other party. The way you agree to divide up your possessions and your debts, arrangements for child custody, payments for child support, and additional spousal maintenance payments should all be spelled out in the separation agreement.

The one size fits all generic forms are not specific enough to thoroughly protect everyone involved from hidden financial consequences in a divorce. And remember once both parties have signed the agreement, both parties are legally obligated to follow everything written in it.

In other words, be very clear about what you need. Include all of the details.

Read Also: Questions To Ask Before Divorce

What Is A Contested Divorce

If a divorcing couple agrees to a settlement, in writing, on all of the issues spousal maintenance , asset and debt division, child custody, parenting time, child support they will be granted an uncontested divorce and avoid the adversarial divorce litigation. Conversely, when a couple cannot agree on any of the basic issues, then a contested divorce exists. When a divorce is contested, the parties proceed through all phases of litigation, including a trial before a family court judge.

You or your spouse must meet Arizona residency requirements before you can file for divorce in the state. Therefore, it is important to be familiar with the local residency requirements to avoid the hassle later on. As mentioned earlier, either spouse must have lived in Arizona for at least 90 days before filing. You are required to file for divorce in the county in which you or your spouse live. If you are unsure of where to file your case, you can locate your local county courthouse through the Arizona courts locator.

There are two different divorce packets on the Arizona Judicial Branch website. One is for divorcing couples with children, and the other is for divorcing couples without children. Additionally, you can also expect to find separate packets for the petitioner and the respondent .

How To Get A Separation Agreement

webperudesigns: Arizona Divorce Forms

To create your own Separation Agreement template, you will need to determine the terms of the separation with your spouse. In addition, both parties will have to be honest and open about their financial situations.

Once you have finalized these details, you should draw up your document. This can be done easily with LawDistrictâs expert legal guidance and online builder. With our Separation Agreement form, you can quickly create your own template which you can customize to your stateâs separation laws and your particular spousal situation.

The agreement must be in writing, and it must be signed by both parties in the presence of a witness. Once your document is prepared, depending on your state of residence and for what type of separation you will be using it for, you may need to file it with a local court.

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