There are a number of steps that you need to follow in order to file a divorce in Arizona.
Prepare for the divorce
Before you even start the divorce process, you first need to discuss certain issues with your spouse or attorney that will have to be settled. These issues include child custody, support, and division of property and debts. It is advised to decide these things before the divorce is filed so that the process transitions smoothly.
Prepare the forms
To start the divorce process, you will need to complete several forms. The fees and charges for these forms vary from county to county. Visit your nearest court to get details about the divorce forms. Double check with your local court if the judges will accept those forms.
Fill out the forms and be thorough with your responses. You can also fill the divorce submission forms online and print them for your record. If you have children, then you will have to fill the divorce forms for divorce with children. There are separate forms for divorce without children. Choose the packet which fits your situation and follow the given instructions to go through the process.
File the forms
Once you have filled the forms, keep two copies of all documents attached with it and the forms. File the original form with the court. You will keep one copy with yourself and give the other copy to your spouse.
When you file the divorce forms with the local court, you will have to pay a fee. However, you can complete the ‘Application for Deferral of Filing Fee’ which will be reviewed by the court if you want to have the fee waived. If the court defers the fee, you won’t have to pay anything to file the divorce documents.
When you hand over all the divorce documents to the court clerk, they will stamp them and add the date and time. The petitioner also has to sign the forms in front of the clerk who will then notarize them. You then have to serve the divorce papers to your spouse as soon as possible.
Serve your forms
After you have prepared and filed the forms in your local court, you need to serve the divorce papers to your spouse. Serving the papers is very important under the American legal system as it ensures that everyone has been notified in a timely manner. The party can then prepare their case and not be caught unaware in court.
Arizona law gives a maximum of 120 days to the petitioner to serve the documents to the respondent. Failing to serve the papers during this time will result in the automatic dismissal of your case, and you will have to start over if you still want to go ahead with the divorce.
The respondent also has an important obligation after they have been served the divorce papers. They must respond to the summons and petition within 20 days, or the spouse filing for divorce will get the default judgment. That means, the court will give everything which is requested in the petition to that spouse.
However, if someone is not able to locate their spouse, then different rules of divorce may apply.
The petitioner and the respondent, both have to complete an Affidavit of Financial Information. The documents will detail each spouse’s financial picture, which will be needed to determine child support. The financial information will include details such as employment, assets and liabilities, monthly expenses, pay stubs, tax returns and more.
To go through the divorce process in an informed manner, it is advised to get in touch with a divorce attorney in Arizona. Contact the law offices of David Michael Cantor for a Free initial consultation at (602) 307-0808 now!
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