Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Procedure for Divorce in Arizona?

To begin the divorce, a Petition for Dissolution of the marriage must be filed by one person. The Petition must be served on the person's spouse by a process server authorized in Arizona. As an alternative to personal service, the person receiving the Petition may sign an Acceptance of Service which acknowledges receipt of the Petition.

After service or signing the Acceptance of Service, the person receiving the Petition must file a written response within 20 days if served in Arizona, or 30 days if served outside of Arizona.

If a person does not respond to the Petition at all, a default will be entered and the dissolution decree can be entered without further notice to that person.

There is a 60-day waiting period before a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage may be signed by a judge. This time starts to run from the date the person is served or accepts service.

If a response is filed to a Petition, then the case must be scheduled for a trial before a judge, who will hear the case and decide the issues and grant the dissolution of the marriage. The parties may enter into a written agreement and submit that to a judge instead of having a trial.

A divorce may not be granted by mail. At least one person must attend a final hearing at which time a judge signs the Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. Once the Decree is signed, it is filed with the Clerk of Court immediately and the divorce is final. There is no further waiting period.

by: Sandra Tedlock

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