Waiting for your divorce case to finalize can test anyone’s patience. Even if your divorce is amicable (which they’re often not), you’re probably anxious to close this chapter of your life and start a new one. All you need is the final divorce decree, and you’re free to move on.
The good news is that divorce cases can be relatively quick in Arizona. Including the mandatory 60-day waiting period, the average uncontested divorce case takes about 3-4 months. Contested divorce cases will require more time to finalize in Arizona. The average contested divorce case takes 6-12 months, but it can take even longer in complex situations.
How to Check Your Divorce Status in Arizona
There are four ways to check the status of your divorce case in Arizona:
Call Your Attorney
The easiest way to check the status of your divorce case is to call your attorney’s office. If your attorney hasn’t received notice that the divorce is finalized, his or her secretary can call the county clerk to check the status on your behalf.
Call the County Court Clerk’s Office
Of course, you can always skip the middleman and call the clerk yourself. Call the county family court, ask for the clerk’s office, then make your request. Be prepared to provide identifying information, including your name, date of birth, and social security number.
Visit the County Court in Person
If you’re finding yourself on hold for too long, hang up the phone and visit the courthouse in person. Find the clerk’s office for the county family court, make your request at the counter, and be prepared to provide proof of identification.
Note that there isn’t a fee to check your divorce status, but there will be a fee if you discover your divorce is finalized and request a copy of the divorce decree.
Use a Third-Party Service Online
Checking your case status by phone or in person is free, but some busy people don’t have time for that. If you’re in a hurry and don’t mind paying a nominal fee, you can go online and use a third-party service like arizona.staterecords.org or VitalChek.com.
Note that checking your divorce status online through a third-party service only works to the extent that it’ll show you when your divorce decree is finalized. Divorce decrees are public records, so you’ll know your divorce is finalized when the decree appears in a search by one of these online services.
If you perform a search and don’t find a divorce decree online, it means your divorce has not yet been finalized. To know the actual stage of the divorce case and what (if any) action is required to keep things moving, you’ll need to call the court clerk’s office.
How Working with an Attorney Can Help
The best way to ensure a timely divorce case is to work with an attorney. An experienced family law attorney can file the necessary paperwork and deliver the required notices quickly and efficiently and keep the case moving through the process so you don’t waste any time.
The true value of having an attorney comes into play when negotiations are required, especially in divorce cases involving minor children, child support, alimony, and dividing an estate with significant assets and liabilities. Even if your divorce is uncontested, you’ll still need to reach an agreement on these critical topics before the judge signs the divorce decree.
FAQs About Checking Your Divorce Status in Arizona
Q: Can I find divorce records online?
A. Yes. A divorce decree is a public record, meaning it’s available to view and download online through third-party records service providers like arizona.staterecords.org or VitalChek.com.
Q: How can I track my divorce case?
A. The best way to track your divorce case is through your attorney. He or she should provide you with regular updates on the case’s progress. You’ll also receive important notifications pertaining to your divorce case in the mail. If you know everything is in order and you’re simply waiting for the case to be finalized, you can just wait to receive a copy of the divorce decree by mail. If you require detailed information on your divorce case status and you’re unable to reach your attorney, you can call the clerk’s office to check the status. You can also visit the clerk’s office in person.
Q: Can I check the status of my divorce online?
A. You can only see if your divorce is finalized online by searching for the divorce decree through a third-party records service. If your divorce decree shows up in the search, that means your divorce is finalized. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to call your attorney or the county clerk’s office for more information.
Q: How do I find divorce records?
A. The best way to obtain divorce records is in person. Visit the family court in the county where the divorce case was finalized, head to the clerk’s office, and request a copy of the records. There will be a small fee to print the documents.
If visiting the county court in person isn’t feasible (e.g., you’re in a different state), you can use a third-party records service like arizona.staterecords.org or VitalChek.com. These online service providers are more convenient by allowing you to view and print records at home, but they typically cost a little more than the court fee required to obtain the documents in person.
Q: Are divorce and marriage records public?
A. Yes. Public court records include divorce decrees, marriage certificates, birth certificates, and death certificates.
What to Do If You Need Help with a Divorce in Arizona
Before filing divorce papers or responding to them, meet with an experienced family law attorney to discuss your situation.
It’s best to retain an attorney’s services as soon as possible, but it’s never too late. If you find yourself in a tricky situation midway through an uncontested divorce, an attorney can help you get the case back on track, finish negotiations, and expedite your case to deliver the divorce decree as quickly as possible.
Call the Family Law Team at (480) 467-4348 to discuss your case today.