According to Arizona Court Rules, a divorce cannot be finalized until 60 days after the divorce paperwork has been served to the other spouse. This “cooling off” period allows for several things to happen, including the initial divorce filing and a response period from the person who is getting served the papers.
When a spouse wants to file for divorce, they must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. This spouse then becomes the Petitioner, and the petition is served to the other spouse, known as the Respondent. The Respondent has 20 days to respond to the petition.
If he or she doesn’t respond within 20 days, the Petitioner can request a default, and if granted, this gives the Respondent an additional 10 days to file a response. If the spouse does not respond, the divorce can be granted to the Petitioner under all the circumstances he or she may have outlined in the divorce paperwork.
If the Respondent does file a response, the couple will either reach an agreement on the divorce, or will go to court to decide the outcome of their issues.
Let us make the divorce process as quick and hassle-free as possible.
But in Arizona, getting a divorce, whether you’re the one filing or receiving divorce papers, is designed to take only as much time as needed. The actual length of divorce will depend on the complexity of your divorce case, so if children and significant assets or liabilities are involved, you could face a longer divorce process.
In general, this information is s a broad timeline for a divorce in Arizona.
Contested vs. Not Contested Divorces in Arizona
According to the State Bar of Arizona, approximately 90 percent of all divorces in the state are not contested, which means most divorces can wrap up not long after the 60-day waiting period. Uncontested divorces are usually resolved and finalized within 3 – 4 months, but again, the actual length depends on many factors involved with the family and marriage.
A contested divorce can take much longer than the 3 – 4 months. In fact, if the spouses can’t agree on the terms of their divorce, they can go to court, which usually adds 6 – 9 months to the duration of the divorce.
This can be a long, emotionally taxing process, and even if divorce is simple, there are still many issues to work out before a divorce is finalized.
If you’re considering filing for divorce, or have been served with divorce papers, you can reasonably expect the entire process to take anywhere from 3 months to over a year.
The Role of Divorce Lawyers in Arizona
A divorce lawyer not only helps you abide by all the rules and regulations of divorce, but can make the process go much faster, as well. They can help you negotiate issues with your divorce that may be difficult to settle otherwise.
Many lawyers, like Tim Durkin or Jon McAvoy at JacksonWhite Family Law, also offer divorce mediation services. Divorce mediation can make the process go much faster, by way of a collaborative divorce, which gives spouses the chance to agree to divorce terms without going to court.
Let Us Simplify the Divorce Process
If you want to make the divorce process as quick and hassle-free as possible contact the Mesa family law attorneys at JacksonWhite today. Our talented family law team, led by Tim Durkin, can help work toward your best legal interests.
Call us today at (480) 467-4348 to schedule your free consultation.