How to File for Divorce in Arizona

, by Bruce Blumberg

Divorce or dissolution of marriage is the process necessary to legally end a marriage. Divorce proceedings may take into account how assets, property and debt may be split, as well as how the custody of children will be handled.

Where do I get a divorce in Arizona?

Only the Superior Court in Arizona can end a marriage.  There is generally one superior court per county in Arizona. The case must be started in the county where you live.

How do I start a divorce case in Arizona?

Hire an attorney to help you through the complicated process of creating and filing all the paperwork necessary.  The attorney will  file the initial petition paperwork, which varies from county to county in the state of Arizona, as do the filing fees.

Unlike other states, Arizona does not require one of the spouses to prove blame or responsibility to end the marriage. The only question the state of Arizona is concerned with is if the marriage is irretrievably broken — that there is no chance the spouses can keep the marriage together.

When can I file for divorce in Arizona?

You must have been a resident of Arizona for at least 90 days (or a member of the armed forces stationed here in Arizona for at least 90 days) before you can file for a divorce.

Do I have to disclose my financial situation during a divorce?

In order to divide the assets acquired during the marriage, each party is required to file an Affidavit of Financial Information. The document requires you (and your spouse) to detail your financial situation, including employment, assets, liabilities, monthly expenses and so on. You may be required to submit documents like pay stubs and tax returns

How long do I have to wait to get a divorce in Arizona?

Under state law (section 25-329, Arizona Revised  Statutes), a divorce cannot be granted by the court for at least 60 days after the first court papers are delivered to the other spouse. If both parties agree to the terms of the divorce, it can be finalized after the 60 day waiting period.

What if both parties don’t agree to the terms of the divorce?

If you can’t agree to the terms of the divorce with your spouse, then litigation will begin. You are entitled to request certain documents, hearings before the judge, depose witnesses, hire expert witnesses and eventually take the case to trial. At this stage, an experienced attorney is extremely important to litigate the case.

When do I know I am legally divorced in Arizona?

You will receive a divorce decree, which is the final order of the court legally ending the marriage. The Decree must be signed by the judge.