Find out if you are eligible for an uncontested divorce in Arizona.
A divorce is a challenging process to go through. No one likes it, but divorce doesn’t have to mean constant arguing, tons of court trips, costly fees, and court costs, etc. If you each can agree on each issue needed to end your marriage, in Arizona, you can file for what is called an “uncontested” divorce.
This post breaks down what exactly an uncontested divorce is and how to obtain one. If there are still questions you have about an uncontested divorce after reading this post, it’s a good idea to speak with an experienced Arizona divorce lawyer to help answer some of them.
Uncontested Divorce in Arizona
In a lot of states, there are two types of divorce: contested divorce and uncontested divorce. In a “contested” divorce you each cannot agree on something needed to get a divorce. As an example, perhaps your spouse doesn’t want a divorce, or maybe you each cannot come to an agreement on how to divide assets. If you each disagree about one single matter, that will be a contested divorce.
A contested divorce requires a trial for a judge to find a resolution about the matters you cannot come to an agreement on. You are each required to have your own attorneys, there will be several court visits, and the process usually is very costly and time-consuming.
On the other hand, in an “uncontested” divorce you each agree to end the marriage. Also, you agree about the division of debt and property, and if one of you will be paying alimony and how much the amount will be.
If there are children involved, you are each required to come to an agreement about visitation rights, child custody, and child support. Because you came to an agreement, there will be no court visit and you might be able to represent yourself.
Uncontested divorces also take a lot less time and are typically less costly than contested divorces.
Uncontested Divorce Conditions in Arizona
For you to get an uncontested divorce in the state of Arizona, you each need to come to an agreement on the following matters:
- If one of you is going to make alimony payments to the other, and if one of you is, how much.
- The division of all property and debts owed, and
- the marriage is over because of “irreconcilable differences,” which means that there is no possible way you are staying married.
If you have children together under the age of 18, you will also need to agree on the following matters:
- A visitation plan for the parent the children don’t live with, and
- who will have physical and legal custody of the child, and
- child support.
For you to file for divorce in Arizona, one of you is required to be a resident of the state for a minimum of 90 days. If you have children, the children are required to have lived in the state for a minimum of the last 6 months and presently reside in Arizona.
For more information to file for divorce in Arizona, turn to the website of the Arizona State Bar Association.
The Process of Uncontested Divorce
To get an uncontested divorce you must first file a petition for divorce. The documentation you need to have with your petition are different in some counties. This means you are required to verify them with the Superior Court where you’re planning to file (the county where one of you lives) for the proper documents.
The one filing the petition is known as the “petitioner” and the other is known as the “respondent.” Inside the petition there is a little information about you, your spouse, and the children if there are any. You also need to add the terms of any agreements you have come to regarding the division of your property and any debts, alimony payments, child visitation rights, child custody, and child support.
Once the petition has been filed and you’ve paid the necessary fees, there are 2 ways that each of you can proceed with the uncontested divorce: by a consent decree or by default.
Consent Decree Divorce
To continue with the divorce with a consent decree, after filing your petition, you still need to serve your spouse with copies of the documents the same way as discussed above. 60 days after you serve your spouse, each of you is required to file a joint Consent Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. This will establish the terms of the agreement concerning property and debt division, alimony, child(ren) custody, child support, and visitation rights.
Each of you will need to sign the consent decree in the presence of a notary and have it filed with the clerk’s office. After examining the decree, a judge signs it and the Consent Decree of Dissolution of Marriage is established as an order of the courts.
If you have children, you are each required to participate in a parent education class after the petition is filed, but before the decree is recorded.
To continue with your divorce by default, after filing your petition, you need to serve your spouse with paper copies of the documentation. This means you are required to give the papers to the respondent.
After they have been served with the required paperwork, they have 20 days (if served in Arizona) or 30 days (if they were served outside of Arizona) to reply to the petition. If they don’t file a response inside the time period, you may then ask for a default.
Because each of you has already agreed on your divorce terms that were covered in the petition, your agreement will be approved, and a divorce order will be given by a judge after 60 days. The court order awarding the divorce is known as a Default Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. You are required to serve the respondent with the decree inside of 3 days of receiving the order.
Are There Options for Cheap Divorce in Arizona?
The cheapest way to get divorced in Arizona is either by filing for divorce yourself or participating in Divorce Mediation or Collaborative Divorce.
Divorce Mediation is voluntary. A neutral attorney or another type of professional called a “mediator,” meets with parties and/or their attorneys to assist them in reaching an agreement. Collaborative Divorce
Collaborative Divorce is an out of court legal process enabling couples to work together to achieve a settlement that will satisfy each party and protect children.
- “What Are the Requirements to File for a Divorce in Arizona?” Bowman, Smith & Kallen, P.L.L.C., 11 June 2019, https://www.bsklawoffice.com/blog/2019/june/what-are-the-requirements-to-file-for-a-divorce-/.
Uncontested Divorce Attorneys in Scottsdale & Phoenix, Arizona
Moshier Family Law is your first choice for when you need the best uncontested divorce lawyer in Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona. Moshier Law should be your choice when you need the best divorce lawyer in Scottsdale. An experienced family law attorney will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. We advocate for our clients so they have the brightest future possible. Give us a call today at 480-999-0800 for a free consultation.
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When a case demands litigation, you’ll have the benefit of 19 years of litigation experience in California and Arizona. But when a case demands collaborative law, or mediation, you’ll know every option.