In Arizona, divorce is legally referred to as a dissolution of marriage, and you must meet certain requirements, submit various documents, and, depending on your situation, go through a court proceeding to have your marriage dissolved.
Before you can file for a divorce, you must meet the state’s residency requirement. That means either you or your ex must have lived or been stationed in Arizona for at least 90 days to request that the court grant a dissolution of marriage.
The rationale behind residency requirements is to discourage individuals from seeking a divorce in a state with different laws that could result in a more favorable outcome for them. If neither you nor your spouse meets the 90-day minimum, the court will not grant your divorce request. You must wait to meet the requirement before you can petition to dissolve your marriage.
Arizona is a no-fault divorce state, which means you do not have to give a specific reason for the dissolution request. You need only show that your marriage is irretrievably broken, meaning you and your spouse are unable to get along and a reconciliation is not possible.
However, if you and your spouse entered into a covenant marriage, A.R.S. section 25-903 requires that you prove there is a valid reason to end your marriage.
Filing a Petition for Divorce
You, as the petitioner, must file divorce paperwork to the Clerk of the Court. The documents you must submit include a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, a Sensitive Data Sheet, and a Summons.
After you file, you must “serve” your spouse with copies of the documents. They have 20 days from the date of service to file a response to your petition. If they fail to do so, and the 60-day waiting period has passed, the court may issue a Default Decree of Dissolution of marriage.
If your spouse files a response, and you both agree to the terms of the divorce, you can submit a Consent Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.
If your spouse receives the divorce papers and does not agree with the request, the court may schedule a conciliation meeting. During the process, you may go through various programs to attempt to reconcile your marriage or come to an amicable agreement for settling the divorce.
If you and your spouse are unable to find a favorable solution during the conciliation meetings, divorce proceedings will move forward.
Contact Bowman, Smith & Kallen to Schedule Your Consultation
If you’re considering filing for a divorce, contact our team for the legal guidance you need. We have over a century of combined legal experience and have handled various family law matters. With our knowledge and skills, we will build a solid legal strategy to work toward a favorable result in your case.
For skilled and compassionate legal counsel, call us at (928) 433-2355 or contact us online.