How to Respond to Arizona Divorce Papers: What You Need to Know
When your spouse files for divorce in Arizona and you are served with divorce papers, you can do three different things:
- Ignore the papers.
- Consent to the divorce according to your former partner’s wishes.
- File your own response.
Essentially, the first two options will have the same impacts – they will generally result in your partner getting what (s)he wants from the divorce.
If, however, you disagree with even just one thing your ex is requesting in the divorce petition, filing a response to the divorce papers will be necessary. Below, we’ll point out what you should know about responding to divorce papers in Arizona.Important Info Responding to Divorce Papers in Arizona
- The “Petitioner” & “Respondent” will be the same parties as those identified in the initial divorce filing – So, if you are responding to the divorce petition, you will be the respondent, and your former partner will be the petitioner.
- You may need to include a copy of your original marriage license with your response – In fact, if you disagree with the type of marriage your ex says you had (because your ex stated you had a covenant marriage when you actually had a non-covenant marriage, for instance), you will need to explain this discrepancy and provide proof via your marriage certificate.
- You may be able to file a motion to dismiss if you or your former partner has not lived in Arizona for at least the past 90 days – This is because 90 days is the residency requirement for filing for divorce in Arizona. If this has not been met, the case can be dismissed.
- Your community property and debts must be described in detail in your response – Community property will generally entail any asset or property acquired during the marriage (with a few exceptions, such as an inheritance or gift). Similarly, marital debt will include the monies owed on property accumulated during the marriage. With this section of your response, it is usually necessary to state the value of specific assets/debts, as well as how you prefer those assets and debts to be divided between you and your ex.
- You have to sign the response in front of a notary – In other words, you must verify under oath that the information you have provided in your divorce response is true.
- An experienced attorney can help you properly respond to divorce papers – Given that there is a lot that may need to be detailed in your divorce response and that you may have little to no experience responding to divorce papers in Arizona, it’s important to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer who can help you complete your response in a manner that protects your interests and effectively discloses them to the court.
Without a divorce attorney on your side, you run the risk of overlooking important aspects of your response, which could potentially cause you to give the upper hand to your ex as you proceed with your divorce.
For experienced help resolving your divorce and other family law issues, you can rely on Scottsdale Divorce & Family Lawyer Karen Schoenau. Since 1987, Karen Schoenau has been committed to helping people protect their rights and interests in divorce and other family legal matters and to helping them bring these cases to the best possible resolutions.
To receive professional advice and learn more about how we can help you, schedule an initial consultation with Attorney Karen Schoenau. You can set up this meeting by calling 480-209-1918or by emailing us using the drop-down contact form at the top of this page.
From her offices based on Scottsdale, Attorney Karen Schoenau represents clients throughout the metropolitan Scottsdale area, including in Scottsdale, Mesa, Surprise, Maricopa County, Pinal County, Gila County and throughout the state of Arizona.