The Divorce Process: How Arizona Divorce Cases Typically Proceed

To that end, below is a general overview of what to expect from the divorce process in Arizona.

While our overview sheds some important light on the typical phases of a divorce case, please don’t hesitate to contact the Scottsdale divorce lawyers at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau when you are ready for more insight and answers regarding Arizona divorce – and your best options for protecting your interests throughout the process.

An Overview of the Arizona Divorce Process
  1. Filing for divorce – An Arizona divorce case will begin when one spouse officially files a divorce petition with a family court. Once this happens, the petitioner (i.e., the spouse who filed the initial petition) will have to make sure the other spouse (i.e., the respondent) is served with a copy of the divorce petition. If the respondent agrees to all of the requests the petitioner has made in the filings, the divorce can proceed as an uncontested case. If not, the divorce will proceed as a contested case.
  2. Divorce discovery – This is essentially the “investigation” phase of the divorce case, during which each party gathers information regarding the issues at dispute. As part of discovery in Arizona divorce, the parties may need to exchange various evidence and/or information with each other, and they may need to be deposed.
  3. Divorce mediation – Mediation is an alternative to traditional divorce proceedings in court. This process, which is overseen by a mediator, provides an opportunity for divorcing spouses to try to work out their own resolutions to the issues of their divorce, such as disputes regarding the division of the marital property or custody arrangements. While divorcing couples may opt to try mediation (before taking their case through the traditional divorce channels), Arizona family courts may require mediation (before trial) under some circumstances – like when children may be involved.1
  4. Divorce court proceedings – When the disputed issues in a divorce case can’t be resolved via mediation (or couples choose not to participate in non-mandatory mediation), the divorce trial process will get underway. Simply put, this aspect of the divorce process in Arizona will involve the presentation of evidence and arguments before a family court judge, who will then rule on each matter being disputed (after hearing all of the facts of the case).
  5. The final divorce decree – This will be issued by the presiding family court judge – either after the divorce trial has been concluded or when couples (going through an uncontested divorce or mediation) have developed a mutually acceptable divorce settlement on their own. Once the final divorce decree has been issued, its terms will be legally binding, and these terms can only be altered by going back to court (to pursue a modification of the decree or agreement).
Ready to get Started? Contact a Scottsdale Divorce Attorney at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau

When you need superior representation in an Arizona divorce, you can rely on a Scottsdale divorce attorney at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau. Dedicated and experienced, our lawyers have been committed to helping people resolve their important family law matters since 1987.

To receive professional advice and learn more about how we can help you, schedule an initial consultation with one of our lawyers today. You can set up this meeting by calling 480-209-1918 or by emailing us using the contact form on this page.

From offices based in Scottsdale, our firm 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