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:

Couple Breaking up Photo
How you respond to divorce papers in Arizona can be important to protecting your interests, an experienced Scottsdale divorce & family lawyer reveals. Contact us for the best AZ divorce representation.
  1. Ignore the papers.
  2. Consent to the divorce according to your former partner’s wishes.
  3. 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.

Scottsdale Divorce & Family Lawyer at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau

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.

Client Reviews
Karen is highly respected in the legal community. She is effective and thorough. Karen just keeps going regardless of the odds.
Karen was extremely helpful setting up my petition for conciliation. She is by far the most knowledgeable attorney regarding the necessary paperwork, how to file the petition and where it has to be submitted. She listened intently when I was describing my situation and intentions. She was very responsive to my questions and request. She is trustworthy and diligent . I would recommend her to anyone having marital issues. Mark
Very high customer/client considerate. We found Karen when we were forced to leave another Phoenix lawyer due to his bad advice and lack of interest to help us. We were in Phoenix for six days from Michigan with nothing happening but a high wasted expense. Karen and her firm took us in and solved our issue with the courts etc. in two and a half days. Karen’s professionalism with us was very cost effective/productive. If we would have found her first, we would have saved thousands of dollars. Her interest for us was very high. She returned every call. She knew every answer to our questions. She did this for us with a death in her family. She left for a funeral and made sure we were treated with the same professionalism from her firm to finish up. I recommend Karen and her firm with very high satisfaction. Our case is custody with one parent in prison. We will return to Phoenix someday with interests for the child and his parent, if needed. Karen will be our top choice. Nolan
Karen and Bonita are wonderful!! I know that the word "wonderful" is used a lot, but the team they make and the work they did for me can only be described as WONDERFUL!! Yes there where ups and downs in my case, but that is the system and Karen along with Bonita guided and taught me as "WE" went through it together. Karen’s easy going manner and her knowledge really helped me with the emotional part of my divorce. I used the team of Karen and Bonita both times I needed to go to court with my ex and had results that were best for my little girl. Some times I did not get what I wanted, but it was what my daughter needed. Looking back at my case, I made the right choice and would do it again in a heart beat!! Jim
Karen was extremely supportive during a very trying time in our lives. She helped me to put things in perspective and think positive when I was overwhelmed. She is very knowledgeable about the laws pertaining to grandparents rights and the rights of the parents and knew how to provide the appropriate laws pertaining to the situation we were in. I am so grateful for her expertise and guidance. She proved to be very aggressive when she needed to be but was also supportive to my and my children. I would recommend her to anyone in a similar situation. Deanna