Mesa, Arizona Divorce Lawyer
Here at Budge Law Firm, PLLC, we understand that divorce can be confusing, stressful, emotional, and frustrating. We work with each of our clients so that they stay informed and that they feel comfortable with each aspect of their case. We are here to help. We serve clients in Mesa, Gilbert, Phoenix, Queen Creek, and other East Valley Cities.
What is a Divorce?
Divorce is a court process to legally end a marriage. In Arizona a divorce is called a “dissolution of marriage.” In addition to ending the marriage, a divorce may also deal with how property and debts of the spouses are divided between them and whether one spouse should pay support (alimony) to the other. If children are involved, a divorce also resolves custody, parenting time and child support issues
What is the Divorce Process?
- A divorce is initiated by filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, along with other pleadings, with the Superior Court.
- After filing the petition, a copy of the pleadings are then served on the other spouse.
- The other spouse then files a response to the petition and has a copy delivered to the Petitioner.
- Next, is the phase of disclosure and discovery. In this process the parties identify the legal positions of each spouse and disclose anticipated exhibits and witnesses. Each party may secure information and documents from the other party through a variety of methods including: interrogatories, depositions, requests for admission, or requests to produce documents.
- A settlement conference may then be requested or ordered by the court in which the parties will be provided with an opportunity to come to an agreement on any or all issues. Typical areas where disputes arise include: custody (also called decision-making authority), parenting time, support, spousal maintenance, asset distribution, and debt allocation.
- Any issues that the parties cannot resolve will be determined by the judge.
- Filing fees may be found by visiting the Clerk of the Superior Court’s website.
How long will my divorce take?
The amount of time it takes to get a divorce varies. State laws require a waiting period of at least 60 days from the time the other party was served with the petition for dissolution. After the 60-day period passes, the steps necessary to obtaining a divorce will depend on your situation and the complexity of your case.
What do I do if I am served with divorce papers?
You or your attorney must file a written Answer and Counterclaim within 20 days from the date you are served with the Summons and Complaint for Divorce (30 days if served outside the state). If you do not file a written response, the court may enter a default judgment against you grant the divorce based on the terms of the petition. If you want the divorce as well, you should also file a Counterclaim for Divorce. This means that if your spouse changes his/her mind in the future and asks the court to dismiss the divorce, the court could deny that request and grant you a judgment of divorce instead on your counterclaim.
If you need help with your divorce or other family law matters, call Budge Law Firm today at 480-246-8050 or send us an email. We are ready to discuss the facts of your case and are prepared to help you move forward. FREE CONSULTATIONS.
AZ Divorce Process Flowchart – includes a PDF