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