Arizona Divorce FAQs

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ARIZONA DIVORCE ATTORNEY

My Arizona Lawyers divorce attorneys can help you if you seek legal representation in any family law issue. Our legal team offers flexible scheduling for appointments and convenient office locations. Contact our law firm to set up a free case evaluation and initial consultation with an experienced divorce and family law attorney.

Our attorney’s have experience representing Arizona residents in divorce. Each case is unique, and our lawyers and staff are dedicated to the specific needs and circumstances for every situation. Many clients, however, have similar general questions about divorce in Arizona. Below are some frequently asked questions that may help you better understand the law and legal process.

In Arizona, divorce is a process to legally end a marriage. It is referred to also ass Dissolution of Marriage. In a divorce proceeding, the court will determine division of assets and liabilities. Spousal maintenance may also be awarded. If children are involved, custody, parenting time, and child support are settled.

If at all possible, please consult with an Arizona Divorce Lawyer before you file for divorce or move out of your marital home.  It is in your best interest to do so.  Even if you decide to represent yourself, a Free Consultation with one of our Divorce professionals could be very beneficial to you in the long run.  Quite often, what happens early on in an Arizona divorce has a lasting effect on the whole case.

No. An annulment is not the same thing as a divorce.  They are similar but not the same.  The main difference between a divorce and an annulment is that an annulment makes a marriage null and void and a divorce terminates a valid marriage.  Both annulments and divorces must deal with similar issues.  Both deal with Child Custody, Child Support, Spousal Maintenance, and division of property.

My Arizona Lawyers, PLLC is committed to providing family law clients with quality representation at a cost that they can afford.  There are many factors that come into play when determining the cost of an attorney in Arizona.   A good rule of thumb is; the more factors that you and your partner agree upon, usually the lower the cost of your divorce.
You can do your own divorce without the assistance of an attorney, which would limit the cost of your divorce in Arizona.  However, chances are you may leave out important provisions and factors that will end up costing you more in the long run than it would to hire a divorce lawyer from the start.  Our Arizona divorce law firm believes, no matter how “simple” or “uncontested” your divorce may seem, you should always hire a divorce lawyer to protect your best interests.

In Arizona, most uncontested divorce can be completed in approximately 75-90 days.  Contested divorces can take longer, much longer.  The more the 2 parties in a divorce disagree on things like: custody, child support, division of property, and alimony, the longer it can take to get divorced in Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal Counties in Arizona.

90 DAYS.  For at least 90 days one of the spouses in a divorce must have been domiciled or resided in AZ before you can file for divorce.  Once you have been in Arizona for 90 days, you are then able to file for divorce.

A No Fault State means that you do not need to state any specific reason why you want to get divorced.  Additionally, your spouse does not have to agree to get a divorce.  Thus, you can get a divorce grom your spouse without a reason in a No Fault state.
Arizona is a “No Fault State.”

Despite what you may be told by others, there is a vast difference between an attorney and a paralegal in Arizona.
For starters, it is not mandatory for one to have any special training, schooling, or a certificate to call themselves a paralegal in Arizona.  There are several people in Arizona who call themselves paralegals who have not even ever worked at a law office.  Additionally, paralegals can not represent people in court, even if you choose to be “represent yourself” in an Arizona divorce court.  In fact, by Supreme Court Rule, paralegals are not allowed to give legal advice, many do, often poor advice which lead to major problems in the divorces of those they are trying to help.
We are by no means saying that all paralegals are a poor choice.  There are some excellent paralegals out there, most work for law firms.  It is difficult to find out which paralegal has the right training and tools to effectively assist you in court.  Another thing to keep in mind is that independent Arizona paralegals are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Arizona State Bar.
If your Arizona divorce lawyer does something wrong, they may be subject to discipline as there are strict rules that govern Arizona lawyers.  Unfortunately, there are no such safeguards if you choose to chance paralegal services instead of using an experienced Arizona divorce attorney.

An uncontested divorce occurs in a few circumstances in Arizona. The first type of uncontested divorce is a default divorce. It happens when one party files their divorce petition, and the other party does not contest or object to the terms laid out in the petition. These terms can cover areas such as division of assets and debts, spousal support, and child custody. If the other party doesn’t respond to the petition simply because they agree with the terms, they will receive a default divorce. A default divorce can also occur when the second party doesn’t respond in time, or if they can’t be located for process service.

The second type of uncontested divorce is a divorce by consent. This also occurs when both parties agree to the terms of the divorce. Instead of the other party not responding to the petition, the couple will submit a Consent Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. While more expensive than the default uncontested divorce, it is a faster process.

If you and your ex have a fairly simple case and agree to all divorce terms, you may be able to get divorced without hiring a lawyer. Some factors that make a case simple are short duration of marriage, few assets/debts acquired during the marriage, absence of children, and waiver of support obligations. If you and your ex are in agreement, you can draft the petition yourself or use a document preparer. However, if disputes arise, you will not have representation.

In Arizona, you can get remarried as soon as your divorce is finalized. Most states similarly have little to no restriction on how long before you can remarry after a divorce, but a few states do require a waiting period before remarrying. You should check with a family law attorney to see which laws will apply to your case.

Yes. You can include in either your petition or your answer to the petition that you’d like to return to your previous name. You will then have to take the divorce decree, along with an application for a new social security card, to your local Social Security office. You can also bring your divorce decree to get your name changed on your driver’s license and bank account.

If you fail to specify your name change in your divorce, you will have to go through the application for name change process. You will go through the same steps to change your social security card, driver’s license, bank account, and other personal information.

Arizona Family law judges are hesitant to put children in the middle of conflict between their divorcing parents. However, at around the 12 year old age range, children can be interviewed to determine their preference for custody, and whether it is an intelligent preference. The age at which a child’s opinion is taken into account varies case-by-case, but, in some rare instances, it can go as low as 7 years old. Older children, especially teenagers, are more likely to be heard by the judge.
A judge can conduct a private interview in her chambers to avoid pressure from the parents, or a custody evaluator or representative may get involved. If the child voices a preference, intelligent preferences based on important matters are regarded more highly. This means a judge is more likely to listen to a child who wants to live with Mom because they get along great and Mom is involved in after-school activities than a child who wants to live with Dad because Dad doesn’t enforce bedtime.

Parenting time, otherwise known as visitation, is the non-custodial parent’s time to spend with their child. Arizona law requires that the amount of parenting time awarded to a non-custodial parent must be reasonable to ensure frequent and continuing contact. The amount of parenting time that is deemed appropriate will be determined by factors like the child’s age and whether time spent with the parent will be harmful to the child’s emotional health. If so, the court may appoint a professional to supervise the parenting time. Parenting time doesn’t need to be court-ordered if the couple agrees to a parenting plan. Your county may provide model parenting time plans if you’re unsure of how to create your schedule.

No. The custodial parent can petition the court to enforce the child support order, but this is a separate matter from visitation/parenting time.

The court doesn’t favor mother or father, and instead considers the best interest of the child. However, if the parents are unmarried, the mother will have all parental rights until the father establishes paternity. If the father didn’t sign the birth certificate, he will need to submit a witnessed and notarized statement from both parents recognizing his paternity, or get a DNA test.

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