What if I was the one served?

If your spouse/partner filed the action against you, you must file a responsive pleading. You have a time limit, so make sure you know what it is. If you were served in the state of Arizona, you have 20 days to respond, if you are out of state, you have 30 days. Your response should track the petition, paragraph by paragraph. You will “admit” the true things that are in the petition, such as the date of your marriage, your name, the county you live in. If you dispute some item, you respond with “deny,” such as: “Denies Paragraph V as to spousal maintenance, because husband is capable of working to support himself.” If you have any questions, you should consult an attorney. DO NOT IGNORE THE PETITION. You will set yourself up for default, and that can be very dangerous. Remember to be ready to pay your responsive filing fee of $256 (at the time of this writing) when you file your response.

How do you serve the other party with dissolution documents in Arizona?

“Service” is the technical name for the other party receiving from you the documents that you have filed. Arizona courts require one party to show proof that the other person was served. In today’s legal world, service does not have to be done with a process server. Instead, you can simply mail the documents to the other party, if applicable.

One option that is cheap is hand-delivery and an Acceptance of Service form. If you and your spouse are amicable, hand-delivery is a good option. This means that you can give the other party all six or eight documents. If you use this method, you do not send the original Summons that you received from the court clerk when you initially filed your documents. At the same time you give the other party the papers, you should also give them an Acceptance of Service form to fill out. This form must be signed by the receiving party either in front of a notary or the court clerk. If the receiving party signs the documents in front of a notary, you should file their acceptance of service with the court after making a copy for your records.

What Can I Do if the Obligated Parent Does Not Pay Child Support?

If an obligated parent does not pay child support, you may file a Petition to Enforce Child Support, Child Support Arrears and Medical Expense Reimbursement. Often, all three of those issues go together. It makes sense to include those three issues in one petition, because if the obligated parent is not paying child support, you will want to ask the court to enforce the child support order in effect. You will also want the obligated parent to pay for the months he/she did not pay, along with any medical expenses he/she did not pay. Also, be advised that it is appropriate in that petition to ask for the obligated parent to pay your attorney’s fees if you hire an attorney for this issue.

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