The Divorce Process In Arizona

In Arizona, either one of the partners can ask for a divorce, and only the court can legally end the marriage. Arizona is a ‘No Fault State’, meaning the court is not interested in who is to blame for the breakup of the marriage. Below is a brief summary of Arizona’s divorce process.

Filing With The Clerk

One of the spouses starts a court case in Superior Court by filing with the Clerk of the court a “Petition”. The Petition is a legal document that asks the court to end the marriage and to issue orders to deal with property and custody. It must comply with the court rules and state laws. Several other documents must be filed with the Petition.

Filing Creates A Preliminary Injunction

At the time you file for a divorce in Arizona, the Clerk of the Court issues a preliminary injunction The Preliminary Injunction is the equivalent of a court order preventing either party from concealing assets, transferring ownership of assets, or moving children away from Arizona, among other things. It is very important for both parties to read and understand the orders contained in the Preliminary Injunction. Either spouse may be held in contempt of court for violating any of the orders in the Preliminary Injunction. The judge could order the violator to pay monetary sanctions for the violation.

Service On Opposing Party

A copy of the filed papers must be served on the other party within 120 days from filing the Petition. Service must be made by a sheriff, registered process server or anyone over 18 who is not a party to the proceedings. Response To Petition The other spouse must file a Response to the Petition within 20 days.

If no response is filed within the time permitted by the rules, the spouse who filed the petition may file an Application and Affidavit of Default to proceed with the process of obtaining a divorce without the participation of the other spouse. The spouse filing the Application and Affidavit of Default must deliver a copy of those documents to the spouse being defaulted. The spouse being defaulted has an additional ten days to file a Response to the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage to avoid being defaulted in the divorce.

If the spouse still fails to file a Response to the Petition for Dissolution in the default period, the other spouse can request a default hearing. A date will be set for the spouse to appear before a default judge with a proposed form of Default Divorce Decree. If the other spouse does not appear, his or her default will be taken, which essentially ends the case.

Trial Of Disputed Issues

When the other party does answer and an agreement between the parties cannot be reached, a trial is scheduled to resolve the issues in contention. Court rules, procedures and schedules determine when the trial will be held. At trial the judge will decide any disputed matters including those involving property, debt, financial support, and orders regarding the minor children. The judge has up to sixty days to issue a decision after the final divorce trial is completed. The divorce case is then complete.

Lynx Legal Service’s representatives are standing by to answer any questions you may have regarding the divorce process in Arizona. We can be reached at 888-441-2355 or at

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