Divorce Timeline: Jennifer Moshier from Moshier Law is here to tackle some common questions that often come up during consultations. Today, let’s dive into the tricky question that almost every client asks: “How long will my divorce take?”
The 60-Day Waiting Game: The first thing to know is that Arizona has a minimum waiting period of 60 days to finalize a divorce or legal separation agreement. This clock starts ticking from the date of filing the petition and serving the other party. Remember, no divorce in Arizona happens without a judge’s order, and that order comes with the final divorce decree.
Factors Influencing Timeline: The length of your divorce can vary. Conflict, complexity, and the number of players involved all play a role. The more assets, debts, or contested issues, and the more people involved (including attorneys and possible witnesses), the longer the process may take.
Shortening the Timeline: Acting with integrity is key to building trust and expediting the divorce process. While you don’t have to be overly nice, treating the other person with respect can go a long way. Mistakes often happen when people aren’t aware of all the facts, leading to complications in the case.
The Collaborative Law Advantage: Consider collaborative law as an option. Jennifer often accepts collaborative law cases, emphasizing a focus on resolution. The collaborative approach shortens the timeline because every step, from inception to the final decree, is centered around finding solutions.
Conclusion: Navigating a divorce in Arizona has its complexities, but understanding the factors influencing the timeline and taking steps to build trust can significantly impact how long the process takes. Collaborative law offers a unique approach to streamline the journey, focusing on resolution from start to finish. If you’re facing a divorce, consider these insights to better navigate the road ahead.
FAQs on Divorce Timelines: What to Expect and How to Expedite the Process
Q. My biggest issue with getting a divorce is that it might take too long. I’ve heard some divorces can take up to a year. Will this happen to me?
Each divorce is going to be different. There are a lot of circumstances that can come up that can change how long your divorce will take. For example, if there are child(ren) involved, it may potentially take twice as long.
Q. What is the quickest way to complete my divorce?
A judge won’t sign off any final paperwork until 60 days after you have served your spouse. Say you turn in all paper to the judge within a week, nothing will happen until the 60-day period is over. Take into account that the 60-day period does include holidays and weekends.
Q. If I want my divorce to happen quickly, what can speed it up?
The simplest way to speed up your divorce is for you both to agree on everything. If you file your Petition and your spouse doesn’t fight any of the issues, a consent decree can be created and filed with the court without the court interfering.
If your spouse doesn’t respond to your Petition at all, you can petition that a default divorce decree be created. This means that it is uncontested, and again, very little court interference.
Q. How lengthy can my divorce take
Q. Is there a certain time I am required to serve my spouse with the Petition?
Yes. If you fail to serve your spouse within 120 days of filing the petition, there’s a significant chance your divorce will be dropped. However, if you encounter challenges in serving your spouse, or they actively avoid service, you can ask the court to extend the dismissal date, providing more time for service attempts.
Moreover, it’s important to note that the 60-day countdown will only commence once your spouse has been successfully served.
Q. How much time does my spouse have to respond after being served with divorce papers?
If the person resides in Arizona, they need to respond within 20 days, counting holidays and weekends. For non-residents of Arizona, the response window extends to 30 days. Failure to reply within these time frames allows the initiation of the default process
Q. What factors could lead to a delay in finalizing my divorce?
Clearly, if you both can’t come to any agreements, this will considerably delay the divorce. There can also be a variety of 3rd actions that may happen. As an example, you might need to go to an alternative dispute resolution or a parenting consultation, that is like mediation. You can also have 3rd, like best interest attorneys, assigned to your case to look into any child issues that may be happening.
There are a lot of other things that may postpone the divorce. As an example, a hearing can get continuance due to an emergency or dispute. Subject to the judge’s calendar, this can add months to the divorce. There may be disclosure and discovery disagreements. If your spouse isn’t supplying you with the proper documentation, there may be a comprehensive research project happening.
A lot of divorces don’t end in 60 days. It’s not always the case that each party is going to agree on every issue.
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