According to Arizona Revised Statute, Section 25-329 and Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure 4.1(c), you must wait at least 60 days from the date your spouse was served before going to court and having the Decree of Dissolution of Marriage entered. This assumes you and your spouse have agreed on the terms or your spouse is in default. When the spouses cannot agree on how to settle issues such as assets and debts, the length of time to get divorced can be longer. If you litigate the issues, it can take up to a year.
The petitioner (initiator of the divorce) must pay Maricopa County $338 as of January, 2015, and the respondent pays $269 for filing an answer.
The divorce decree will be signed by the judge or commissioner assigned to your case who works for the Superior Court of Maricopa County, which is a state court.
There are currently four courthouse locations in Maricopa County, which are located Downtown, Northeast, Northwest and Southeast. These include:
Central Court Building 201 W. Jefferson, Phoenix, 85003-2243
Family Court Administration: (602) 506-1561
Old Courthouse 125 W. Washington, Phoenix, 85003-2243 Family Court Administration: (602) 506-1561
Northeast Courthouse 18380 N. 40th Street, Phoenix, 85032
Northwest Regional Center 4264 W. Tierra Buena Lane, Surprise, 85374
Southeast Courthouse 222 E. Javelina Ave., Mesa, 85210
You can file your documents at any courthouse, but the judge assigned to your case will most likely work in the courthouse closest to the home address of the petitioner (the person who files first).
Other courthouses in the state of Arizona are listed in Appendix D.
No. Arizona does not have a provision for any type of joint filing.
Someone has to be the petitioner and someone has to be the respondent. There is no advantage or disadvantage to either, other than perhaps assignment of the courthouse nearest to the petitioner.
You cannot stop your spouse from divorcing you, but you can file a request with the court to order a one-hour conciliation meeting to try and reconcile. These rules change; depending on the budget, there may be a fee associated with reconciliation. During this “time out” for 60 days, there can be no “discovery” (see glossary) taking place.
Arizona law allows you to do this yourself. You are considered pro se or pro per; you must follow all the same rules as parties with attorneys. You may have to go into a courtroom, and you are held to the standard of an attorney. Even if you do this yourself, it is always a good idea to have an attorney review your work and give you legal advice. Maricopa County has a self-help web site at: http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/SuperiorCourt/Self-ServiceCenter/index.asp.
No. Arizona is a “no-fault” state, which means that the court does not require one spouse to prove blame or responsibility in order to end the marriage. But, in a Covenant Marriage (see below), a court will not enter a decree of dissolution of marriage unless certain criteria are met. (See Arizona Revised Statute, Section 25-903 for the specific requirements).
You will most likely know if you have one of these; it is an optional type of marriage created by the state legislature that requires partners to complete marital counseling prior to marrying and to sign a special declaration to obtain a marriage license. In a covenant marriage, a legal separation or divorce may be granted only for certain reasons listed in state law. The law regarding covenant marriages can be found in Sections 25-901 through 25-906 of the Arizona Revised Statutes.
Yes, as it is not a requirement that you have an attorney to represent you in divorce proceedings. The same rules and procedures apply whether you have an attorney or not, which means all papers must be correctly completed and filed on time.
If you and your spouse decide to stay married, the divorce case can be canceled or dismissed by filing a request with the Clerk of Superior Court that is signed by both parties.
Arizona Revised Statutes §25-312 and §35-325 provide that a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage is the final order of the court which makes each party a single person again, and includes separate orders concerning child decision-making and parenting time, child support, division of property and debts, spousal maintenance and any other appropriate orders. The decree is the final order of the court, legally ending the marriage. Spouses are not divorced until the court grants the divorce and the decree is signed by the judge. A Decree of Dissolution is a court order and can be enforced just as any other order of the court. A certified or duplicate copy of the decree can be obtained from the Clerk of Superior Court for a small fee.
In Arizona, only the Superior Court (a state court) can grant a divorce. To get a divorce, one spouse must start a court case in the Superior Court. Although the Superior Court has at least one facility in each Arizona county, a court case to end a marriage must be started in the county where the person requesting the divorce lives.
In Arizona, either spouse can ask the court for a divorce. A divorce is not awarded to either spouse; rather, it simply changes the status of the marriage relationship.
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