New Deadlines in Arizona Family Law for 2024
Laws are always changing, and Arizona’s family laws are no exception. Many new laws go into effect at the start of the year. This year, Arizona has several new family laws going into effect, including many regarding deadlines in family law procedures. Staying on top of these deadlines is crucial to obtaining a positive outcome in a family law dispute. Whether you’re dealing with divorce, custody issues, child support issues, or whatever your scenario calls for, a family law attorney can help you navigate Arizona’s statutes and deadlines that will apply to your case. Find a list of Arizona’s new family law regulations. If you have additional questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to our firm for your free consultation at 480-470-1504.
Types of Changes
The changed deadlines for Arizona family law have similarities across the different types of legal matters and resolution types. More than one of these may apply in your family law matter. For any questions or concerns you may have about your case, you can call 480-470-1504 to schedule your free consultation with our firm.
- Proposed Orders: Any party that files a written stipulation in the court must also submit a proposed order. This gives the court an idea of what that party expects a court order to look like if the court agrees with its ruling. Arizona has imposed a new deadline on family law courts ruling on written stipulations and proposed orders. A ruling must be made within 21 days of filing if the stipulation and proposed order are filed with a notice of lodging.
- Defaults: When one party fails to respond to a legal claim, including a family law matter, within a prescribed time frame, the other party can usually obtain a default judgment. A default judgment is a ruling by the court that the respondent failed to respond so the court is granting the petitioner’s request. The new deadlines for defaults vary slightly depending on the type of family law matter.
- Dissolution, Annulment, or Separation: Arizona has a mandatory 60-day waiting period before it will terminate a marital union between a married couple. If a spouse waits until the 60-day period is complete before requesting a default judgment from the court, the court has 21 days to rule on the matter or set a hearing. If the spouse requests a default before the 60-day period is complete, the court has 81 days to rule on the matter or set a hearing. The court has 21 days after the motion has been filed to notify the other party of the ruling or hearing.
- Paternity or Maternity Establishment: Establishing paternity, or a child’s legal father, is a much more common legal procedure. The court must rule on a paternity establishment or set a hearing on the matter within 21 days of a request for default judgment.
- Money Judgments and Attorney Fees: Financial matters are inevitably a part of the family law process. One party can also be ordered to pay the other party’s legal fees due to income disparity or purposely delay proceedings to increase costs. After a default judgment has been requested, the court also has 21 days to set a hearing or issue a ruling on this type of dispute.
- Consent Decrees: Not every divorce has to be an elongated legal battle. It isn’t uncommon for two spouses to have similar goals upon entering a dissolution of marriage. If so, they can use a consent decree to have divorce orders issued without going through the time, stress, and expense of trial. Even if the spouses agree on all issues, they are still bound by Arizona’s 60-day waiting period. That means the deadline the court has to rule on a consent decree works similarly to the deadline for default judgments. The court has 21 days to set a hearing or rule on the matter if the 60-day period has expired, and 81 days if that period has not yet expired.
- Temporary Orders: Divorces and other family law matters can take several months to finalize, and in some cases can even take years to finalize. This can leave families questioning what they are supposed to do while waiting for the court to issue orders on their legal matters. Temporary orders can provide guidance and stability while a family law matter in Arizona is still pending. A judge must rule on a hearing for temporary orders within 21 days of the hearing.
How Long Will My Family Law Matter Take to Finalize?
As you can see, many family law matters in Arizona have 21-day limits for the court to issue a ruling or set a hearing on a matter. The limits can be much longer if a married couple going through a dissolution of marriage hasn’t waited the mandatory 60 days for a divorce to be granted in Arizona. In a perfect world without disagreements or disputes, the parties could resolve their divorce in 81 days through a consent decree. But several factors could impact how long it takes for your matter to be resolved, such as:
- Whether the respondent files a response within their deadline
- If either party proceeds with a matter through default
- If legal counsel represents one or both parties
- If any involved parties live in another state
- If either party is a member of the military
- Whether the parties are seeking to establish new orders or modify existing ones
- If the parties have already attempted mediation
- If the respondent has been located for service of process
- Whether there has been domestic violence or abuse
- Whether the parties are agreeable or high-conflict
- How long the spouses were married
- How many children do the parties share, their ages and special needs, etc.
- Unforeseen events and emergencies outside of the court’s control
No two cases are the same. What takes two parties a few days to iron out in negotiation could take another couple multiple years to resolve in trial. Arizona has enacted new deadlines to keep processing times reasonable from the court’s end. A skilled family law attorney who is a dedicated and persistent negotiator can also help you achieve an efficient resolution. To learn more, call 480-470-1504 to set up your free consultation with our firm.
Let Our Arizona Divorce and Custody Team Help You Navigate Ever-Changing Family Laws
The complexity of state laws that can change from year to year combined with the stress of a family law matter can be detrimental to you and your family. This stress can affect your personal life, work life, and even the lives of your children and loved ones. You don’t have to deal with your issue- whether it’s divorce, custody and child support, post-decree modification, establishment of paternity, and more, our team at My AZ Lawyers has broad and diverse experience in all areas of Arizona family law. Work towards a positive outcome in your matter with the guidance and counsel of an experienced attorney supported by knowledgeable staff. To learn more about family law disputes in Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal counties, contact us through our online form or call 480-470-1504 for your free phone consultation with our firm.
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