How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce in Arizona?


The length of time that a divorce takes in Arizona varies from couple to couple. The typical uncontested divorce in Arizona usually takes 90 to 120 days to complete. The shortest amount of time that it can take is 60 days, but some contested divorces can end up taking several years to be finalized.

The best way to ensure that your divorce is done quickly and efficiently is to work with an experienced divorce attorney. If you and your spouse are thinking about getting a divorce in Arizona, contact our family law team so that we can walk you through the process and help you protect your best interests with a fair result.

Is Arizona a No-Fault Divorce State?

Arizona is a no-fault divorce state—this means that a spouse does not need to prove wrongdoing in order to file for divorce. For example, a spouse does not have to commit an offense like adultery or abuse in order for one party to legally file for divorce.

Instead, all that’s required for the divorce is for a spouse to establish irreconcilable differences. If one spouse believes that the marriage is broken, then this is enough grounds for divorce, even if the other believes the marriage can be repaired.

Most states allow for no-fault divorces, but they often require a waiting period, which can extend as far as two years. However, in Arizona, there is no additional waiting period for no-fault divorces outside of the typical “cooling off period” for divorces in Arizona. 

Still, both spouses also have the option to request court-mandated marriage counseling in an attempt to resolve the marriage. If there is a disagreement between the two sides on the best path forward, then a divorce attorney may be a valuable resource to reach out to in the process.

The “Cooling Off” Period

  • A divorce cannot take less than 2 months in Arizona because there is a 60-day waiting period (ARS 25-329) that begins after the date of service of process or the date of acceptance of process:Date of service of process – This date refers to the point where documents are provided to the other party in a divorce, informing them of the divorce request.  
  • Date of acceptance of process – This date refers to the point where the spouse agrees to accept the notice of the divorce proceeding. A defendant may refuse to accept, but they will be liable for having the papers served by a process server or law enforcement.

During this time, several things will happen, including the initial divorce filing and a response period from the person who has been served with divorce papers.

The signatures and response often take close to the full 60 days to be returned, only once the papers have been signed and returned will the divorce hearings begin. If the respondent does not answer within the 60-day period, the petitioner may file an Application and Affidavit of Default.

After this form is completed, the respondent has 10 days to respond. Otherwise, the court may provide a default judgment that does not take the input of the other spouse into account. The spouse who fills out the form must still participate in a default hearing.

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce in Arizona

Determining how long a divorce will take in Arizona often depends on whether the divorce is contested or uncontested.  

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses create the terms of dissolution without involving the courts (typically with the help of a divorce attorney). According to the State Bar of Arizona, 90% of all divorces in Arizona are uncontested, with the divorce becoming resolved and finalized within 90-120 days.

However, if even one term of the dissolution is not agreed upon by the spouses, the divorce is no longer uncontested, requiring court involvement.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce is when there are issues and disagreements with the dissolution of marriage. The average length of a contested divorce varies between 6-9 months, depending on how long it takes to resolve disputes. During contested divorces, the following items are the most common issues that couples work with attorneys and the court to resolve:

Also, courts sometimes will require that one spouse pay spousal maintenance (alimony) to the other on a temporary or permanent basis. This is typically done if one spouse was responsible for earning money for the family. The amount is determined by the court based off of financial income, or lack thereof, and financial needs of the other spouse.

In instances of contested divorce, the two parties may benefit from divorce mediation or alternative dispute resolution (ADR), which can help prevent a divorce without the risk of going to court. During mediation or ADR, a trained and impartial divorce mediator can offer support in negotiating the terms of your divorce and create a legally binding agreement that accommodates both parties.

For a Good Result, Work with a Divorce Attorney

One thing holds true regardless of if you are going through an uncontested, contested, or defaulted divorce, you want to work with an attorney. Hiring a divorce attorney is the best way to guarantee that the result of your divorce is fair and efficient so you can move forward with your life.

It is not required by law in Arizona that you work with an attorney to get a divorce, and people often make this choice thinking it will save them money. But in the end, especially if there is child custody, child support, or alimony involved, that decision ends up hurting them. Our attorneys at JacksonWhite Law can provide guidance and support throughout the process and help you find the quickest and most amicable result possible. 

Call the Family Law Team at (480) 418-7896 to discuss your case today and get started on benefitting your future.

Contact Our Family Law Team

Call (480) 467-4348 or fill out the form to schedule your consultation and discuss your best legal options.