Uncontested Divorce

Providing Uncontested Divorce in Scottsdale and Phoenix, AZ

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Uncontested Divorce

What is an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce is a procedure available in some states where spouses who agree on the terms of the divorce can file together. Arizona does not have the uncontested divorce procedure. That does not mean, though, that divorces have to be contentious. In fact, many couples in Arizona file after first reaching agreements on all issues in the divorce.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce is an option in some states (but not in Arizona) where the parties can file together for divorce. And it will be granted.

Does Arizona allow for uncontested divorces?

No, not in the technical sense of the term “uncontested divorce.” That is, Arizona does not allow parties to file together. Of course, parties are welcome to reach agreements and submit those agreements to the Court in a document called a “Consent Decree,” but the Consent Decree can only be filed with the Court 60 days after service of the initial divorce papers has occurred.

What is the Arizona equivalent for an uncontested divorce?

The equivalent is to reach agreements and to submit a Consent Decree to the Court for the judge’s signature.

What do we do if we want to get divorced but don’t want to go to Court?

You reach agreements outside of Court. This is where a mediation is particularly helpful. You can reach full agreements on all issues before even filing.

If we reach agreements, do we have to go to Court?

No. In fact, if you use Best Law Firm to mediate and draft your documents, then it is likely that neither spouse will ever have to step foot in court.

What if we agree on everything? Do we still need to file something?

You will still need to file a Petition for Dissolution (the paperwork that starts the divorce), have it served on your spouse, and prepare a Consent Decree (the paperwork that finishes the divorce and divorces you) that both of you agree to and sign. The Consent Decree is then submitted to the Court for the judge to sign.

If we reach a full agreement in mediation, are we divorced?

No. The parties still must prepare a Consent Decree and file it with the Court.

If we agree on everything, do we still need to be mediate?

We recommend mediating because you likely have not thought of everything. Our mediators are well-versed in Arizona law regarding divorce and can ensure that you have considered all the issues that need to be addressed and reached agreements. Additionally, our mediator will draft up a Memorandum of Understanding that will memorialize your agreement (i.e., put your agreement in writing) and can be used to draft your Consent Decree.

What if the judge refuses to sign off on our agreements?

In our experience, judges almost always sign the Consent Decree the parties submit. On the rare occasions where a judge does not sign the Consent Decree, it is because the parties did not include something that is required to be in the Consent Decree. This again is where it is advantageous to use Best Law Firm because we know the requirements for what needs to be included in a Consent Decree.

What is the advantage of mediating with Best Law Firm?

Our mediators are knowledgeable, fair, insightful, and courteous. Our mediators know all the issues that need to be addressed in a divorce. Our mediators also know Arizona law related to a divorce as well as common and/or creative resolutions to difficult questions. Our mediators have experience both representing clients in a divorce proceeding and mediating with people going through the divorce. Our mediators are experienced in helping people reach agreements even when disputes are heated.

What happens if we file the Consent Decree without filing a Petition for Dissolution?

The Consent Decree will be rejected by the Clerk of Court. There must be a case pending for the Court to sign a Consent Decree. Additionally, under Arizona law, the earliest the parties can file a Consent Decree is sixty (60) days.

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