What do I Need to Know Before I File my Divorce Paperwork With the Court?

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What You Need to Know Before Filing Divorce Papers with an AZ Court

The important information to be aware of before filing divorce papers in Arizona will depend on your circumstances, needs and goals. While an experienced divorce lawyer – like Scottsdale Divorce Attorney Karen Schoenau – can provide you with more detailed answers and advice regarding your situation (and what to do prior to filing for divorce), here, we can lay out some of the fundamentals that are essential to understand before filing your divorce papers and getting your case started.

The Facts About Arizona Divorce
  • The requirements – There are only two eligibility requirements that have to be met in order to qualify for pursuing divorce in Arizona. These include the residency requirement and having legal grounds for divorce. In terms of residency, only one spouse has to have lived in Arizona for at least 90 days to fulfill this requirement. In terms of legal grounds for divorce, these are typically ‘irreconcilable differences’ or the ‘irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.’ If either of these requirements is not satisfied:
    • A divorce petition can be thrown out or dismissed by the court.
    • It’s possible to pursue a legal separation in the interim, converting that to a divorce once those requirements have been met.
  • The filing fees – Filing fees for divorce petition are set by Arizona state law, and they can vary from county to county (depending on whether a specific county has added on additional fees). In general, these filing fees start at $171 for submitting a divorce petition to the court. For people who cannot afford to cover these fees, fee waivers may be available. Fee waiver forms, as well as other divorce forms, are available here.
  • Service obligations – After divorce papers have been filed with the court, the petitioner (i.e., the person who has filed this paperwork) will be required to serve the respondent (i.e., the other spouse) with a copy of all documents that have been filed with the court (in regards to the divorce). This service, which must be completed by a third party (i.e., someone not involved in the case), must occur within 120 days of the initial petition being filed with the court.
  • What happens next – The next phase of the divorce process in Arizona will depend on whether the respondent agrees with all of the terms of the divorce (set forth by the petitioner). If so, the case can proceed as an uncontested divorce. If not, the divorce will move forward as a contested case, which could mean that mediation and/or trial will follow in the coming weeks.
Contact Scottsdale Divorce Attorney Karen A. Schoenau

When you need effective representation in divorce, contact Scottsdale Divorce Attorney Karen Schoenau. Since 1987, Karen Schoenau has been committed to helping people resolve their important family law matters, including complex cases related to divorce, custody, paternity and other issues.

Dedicated to providing the highest quality legal services at reasonable rates, Attorney Karen Schoenau is ready to aggressively advocate your rights and protect your interests in divorce – or any family legal matter.

Call 480-209-1918 or email us via the contact form on this page to set up an initial consultation with Attorney Karen Schoenau and get honest answers about your best options for moving forward with divorce.

From offices based in 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
★★★★★