Getting Divorced In Arizona, How Long Will It Take?
Want To Make The Divorce Process Faster? Everything You Need To Know About Filing a Divorce In Arizona
As far as we know, no one has entered into a divorce hoping that it will take a long time. Divorce can be complicated, stressful, messy, and emotionally damaging for your children. Some divorces are amicable and uncontested, meaning that the spouses agree on how to finalize property division, spousal maintenance, child support, and child custody. But if your divorce is contested, you can expect extra time spent negotiating with your ex and their attorney. If you’re in the Phoenix or Mesa area and looking to start the divorce process, call 480-833-8000 to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys.
How To Get Divorced Quickly In Arizona
If you meet Arizona’s 90-day residency requirement, you can still expect your divorce to take at least 60 days. That is the mandatory waiting period before a divorce can be granted, starting on the date the respondent spouse was served with the divorce petition. If you reach agreement on every relevant issue in your divorce case, the judge can finalize it at the end of the 60-day period. You can also seek free marital counseling during that period if you wish to reconcile.
When you and your spouse agree on all divorce issues, you might want to use one of the fastest divorce methods, by default. This method is used after the respondent spouse fails to answer the petition within the applicable time limit. In Arizona, an in-state spouse will have 20 days to respond to the petition, while a spouse located out of state will have 30 days. This is viewed by the court as agreeing with everything the petitioner spouse requested, and the petitioner can then request a default divorce decree. If you and your spouse agree to use this method, make sure to review the petition that is served upon you for any possible changes to your verbal agreement.
My Spouse Is At Fault For The Divorce. Does That Help My Case In Arizona?
Because of the distinction between fault and no-fault divorce states, you may think that if your spouse is at fault for the divorce- whether it be cheating, a gambling problem, etc.,- will affect the outcome of your divorce. But Arizona is a no-fault divorce state. That means that neither spouse needs to have a “justifiable” reason for the court to grant a divorce. You will not need to prove anything to the judge as grounds for divorce. The judge will grant a divorce petition, which usually cites irreconcilable differences as the reason for divorce, if all the applicable requirements are met. However, there is an exception for spouses who enter a covenant marriage.
Covenant Marriage: A Unique Option Available In Arizona
Arizona is one of only three states in the country that offers covenant marriages. It is typically utilized by religious couples, but anyone can choose a covenant marriage if they’re willing to complete all the requirements. Once entered into a covenant marriage, the spouses can only be granted a divorce in limited circumstances.
The first step to entering a covenant marriage is to attend premarital counseling. This can either be with a couples counselor or with a member of the clergy. This is to help the spouses create the basis for a strong marriage that should last forever. The next step is to apply for a marriage license. Those seeking a covenant marriage must also include a declaration of intentions. You will also need to include an affidavit from your premarital counselor.
Adultery by the respondent spouse;
The respondent spouse has been sentenced to prison or death for a felony conviction;
The respondent spouse has abandoned the petitioner spouse and the marital home for at least one year;
Additionally, the respondent spouse has a drug or alcohol problem;
The spouses have been living apart for at least 2 years;
The spouses have been legally separated (including living together) for at least 1 year;
Plus, the respondent spouse has physically, sexually, verbally, or emotionally abused the petitioner spouse or their children; and
Both spouses agree to a divorce.
Can Mediation Speed Up The Divorce Process?
Most divorce cases in Arizona never actually make it to the trial stage. Part of this can be attributed to mediation. Mediation is an alternative method of dispute resolution that allows many couples to reach agreement on divorce issues and avoid court. Many couples who walk into a mediation walk out at the end of the day with a nearly finalized consent decree.
Mediation can be a great way to quickly resolve a contested divorce. A mediator is a neutral third party who can help you calmly discuss issues like property division, child support, child custody, and spousal maintenance. You can also have your respective lawyers in attendance, but it isn’t required. It should be noted that mediation is not recommended when abuse or domestic violence is present in the relationship.
Many people are put off of mediation because of the high fees. However, paying for a mediator for one day (think thousands of dollars) could end up saving you on attorney’s fees and court costs in the long run. It can also be far less stressful, which is especially beneficial if you have children. Mediation can expedite the divorce process and reduce anguish and arguments between the spouses, so they can move forward as better co-parents.
Will a Phoenix Divorce Attorney Help Expedite My Phoenix Divorce?
The court doesn’t grant divorce cases filed by attorneys any special preferences over those filed pro se, or self-represented. But your divorce might be completed sooner if you hire a skilled Mesa divorce attorney rather than representing yourself. Your divorce attorney and support staff should stay up-to-date on state law, and make sure that all of your filings are timely. Your Avondale Family Law Attorney will also handle all negotiations and communications in your case, serving as a buffer between you and your ex. You should also look for an attorney with experience in your area so that they are familiar with the local family law judges and procedures. All of this can help you avoid delays so that your divorce can be finalized as soon as possible.
Contact a Phoenix Divorce Attorney To Help You Throughout The Whole Divorce Process
It’s hard to know where to turn when you want to file for divorce. And many high quality attorneys are far out of most people’s price range. But our dedicated Arizona family law team has collective decades of experience in divorce and child custody matters. We will work quickly to get you the best possible outcome for your specific situation. The best part is, we offer all of this at affordable rates. Call today to get started with your free consultation, and receive an affordable quote for divorce representation with flexible payment plan options. Call 480-833-8000 or use our online form and let us know when is most convenient for you for your free consultation.
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