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.
The “Cooling Off” Period
A divorce cannot take less than 2 months inn 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. During this time several things will happen, including the initial divorce filing and a response period from the person who has been served 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.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce in Arizona
Determining how long a divorce will take in Arizona comes down to whether the divorce is contested or uncontested.
An uncontested divorce is 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, and the courts will need to be involved.
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.
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 you result of your divorce is fair, efficient and will see you moving 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.
Don’t hold out on working with an attorney because you think hiring one is too expensive. Hire an attorney because you care about your future.
Call the Family Law Team at (480) 467-4348 to discuss your case today.