How Long Does it Take to Get Served Divorce Papers in Arizona?


If you are in a marriage that is coming to an end and divorce is the only way out, there are several steps involved before the actual divorce decree is granted by the court. Depending on the state you are living in, the laws governing what exactly the process looks like to get divorced can go anywhere from a few days to over a year’s period of time before it is concluded. So, how long does it take to get served divorce papers in Arizona?

The truth is there is not set amount of time that it takes to receive divorce papers in Arizona.  There are many factors that are involved before someone receives the papers for a divorce. In this article we will go over what those are.

Receiving the Divorce Decree

The first factor that must be considered is whether the two parties actually live in the same community as one another. If one of the parties lives in another state, or even in another county in the same state, that can add additional time needed for the person to be served.

The reason behind this is that the same Sheriff’s Department is not serving the paperwork as the place where the court petition was filed, which means that it is going to take additional time to notify that department that divorce papers need to be served. This can take anywhere from a couple of days to a month.

It is also necessary that the person who has filed for the divorce is aware of where the person who was being served lives. If an address is not known, this can make it much more difficult for the person to be served. In some jurisdictions, the court will assist you in finding the address of the other party if available. However, that is not always the case.

What to Do if You Don’t Know the Residence of the Other Person

If you are not exactly sure where the other party lives, there are procedures for you to follow to ensure that the court would recognize that that person is “served.” This can differ in many jurisdictions, but one of the most common ways is if the divorce petition is filed in the local paper or in the last known location of the party being served on three successive weekends.

In this case, the court recognizes this as a form of public notification. They will allow this to be accepted as your attempt to properly serve the person with divorce papers so that the case can proceed. It should be noted that the court will only recognize this as an option if you can prove to the court that you have taken all steps to locate the address of the person who needs to be served.

Proof of Service

If you are forced to turn to this alternative, then providing the court with copies of the posting in the local paper is seen as notice to the court that the person has been served. However, if the person is actually served with the notice, then they must actually sign for the petition proving that they have received it. This is referred to as acceptance of service.

It should be noted that the person who is receiving the papers is not required to sign the documentation they have been served with. They could contest the entire process by refusing to serve, which would make the sheriff or process server responsible for documenting that they brought the paperwork to your soon-to-be ex-spouse to be served, but the person refused to accept them.

While they may refuse to sign for the paperwork, this does not remove them from liability related to the documentation. The judge still expects them to appear in court on the appointed day for the preceding. Failure for them to do so is seen by the court as their willingness to allow the proceeding to occur without being involved in it.

A Person Can Be Served by Mail

You will also find that in some jurisdictions, it is perfectly acceptable for you or the court to mail the petition to the other party. As long as it is certified that there is a signature confirming that the person has received the notice, this is viewed by the court as them being served.

However, there is an important part that you need to understand about choosing this option. While this ensures that you do not have to worry about coming in contact with the person, if they fail to receive the package and sign for it then the court will view this as them never being served.

Some prefer the mail option because it is cheaper than paying a deputy or process server to actually bring the petition. However, once again, if they do not sign the certified documentation then this is viewed by the court as the person not being served even if it was brought to their address to let them know that they had a certified letter.

How Long Does It Take to Get Served Divorce Papers in Arizona?

Now that you know all this information, you are still left with the question, how long does it take to get served divorce papers? The truth is that it can take anywhere from a few days to a month in time. This is based upon how the documentation is going to be sent to the person, and how easy that process is going to be.

Hopefully, your divorce is going to be an amicable one, where both parties are in agreement, and both understand that divorce is imminent. It is usually only in the case where the two parties are at odds with one another or where they have not been in contact with one another for an extended period of time.

Call the Family Law Team at (480) 467-4348 to discuss your case today.

Contact Our Family Law Team

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