Phoenix Uncontested Divorce Attorney
Helping Clients With the Uncontested Divorce Process in Arizona
Not every divorce has to be a knock-down, drag-out fight with multiple trips into court and months (or even years) of disagreement. Even if you and your spouse have decided to get divorced, you may still be amicable and willing to compromise. If you can agree on how to resolve all of the major issues that you need to dissolve your marriage, Arizona law allows you to file for an “uncontested divorce.”
While an uncontested divorce can be faster and less costly than a contested divorce, it is still a specific legal process with many requirements before the court can finalize the divorce. Many complications may arise before the end of your case, and it is always wise to seek help and representation from an experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer from the very start. Call the law firm of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC to learn about your options today.
Uncontested Divorce Overview
Most states allow spouses who agree to file for an uncontested divorce. This means that you and your spouse can agree on the following:
- That you want to end the marriage
- How to resolve the required legal issues under Arizona law
If you cannot fully agree on even one issue, then your divorce will be contested and you will need to take a different approach.
However, if you truly reach an agreement, you can take advantage of the uncontested divorce process. Your attorney can draft an agreement that reflects the compromises you and your spouse reached regarding:
- How to divide all marital property, assets, and debt
- How to share physical and legal custody of your children
- Whether one spouse will pay child support and how much they will pay
- Whether one spouse will pay spousal support and how much they will pay
Because you agree from the start of the case, you will not need to spend time in mediation or negotiations. There will be no need for court hearings or trial. Instead, your attorney will submit your agreement to the court for approval. If the court approves of how you resolved the relevant issues, it can grant your divorce and set the agreement forth in the divorce judgment. This often means your divorce can be over much sooner and will cost you significantly less.
Uncontested Divorce Requirements
You will still need to follow the necessary procedures and meet requirements to obtain an uncontested divorce. Your lawyer will advise you of these requirements, which may include the following:
- One of you has lived as a resident of Arizona for 90 days or longer
- Both spouses agree the marriage should end due to its irretrievable breakdown
- You reached an agreement about property division, custody, and support issues
- If children are involved, they must have lived in Arizona for the past six months and must currently reside in Arizona
You must file a petition for divorce with the proper family court and include all of the necessary forms required by that particular county court. The petition should include all relevant information about you, your spouse, any children of the marriage, and the terms and conditions of the agreement you reached with your spouse about the division of property, alimony, and child-related matters. You must also pay the filing fee to the court.
There are then two different ways the case can be resolved:
- Consent decree – When you file your petition, you must properly serve a copy of the petition to your spouse in line with the Rules of Procedure. You and your spouse must wait 60 days, and then you can have your attorney draft your Consent Decree of Dissolution of Marriage and file it with the court. This consent decree details all of your agreement terms and you both must sign it and have it notarized. The judge will review the agreement and sign it as a court order if there are no issues. If you have children, you will need to attend a parenting class before the decree can be entered.
- Default – If you serve your spouse with the divorce petition and they do not respond to the petition within 20 days, you can request a default divorce judgment. Because you already reached an agreement and set out those terms in your petition, the court can ratify the agreement and issue a Default Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. You will still have to wait the 60 days for the court to issue its final order.
You Should Still Speak With Our Divorce Attorneys
Because the uncontested divorce process seems so much simpler than a contested divorce, many people fail to hire an attorney for assistance. However, it is always a good idea to consult with a divorce lawyer for an uncontested divorce. First, your attorney will know how to draft your agreement, petition, consent decree, and other documents in a manner of which the court will approve. This can prevent any delays if the court questions an aspect of your agreement.
Also, there is always the chance that your spouse will suddenly change their mind and decide they no longer agree on certain issues. If this happens, you may have to convert your divorce to a contested case. You want to have a lawyer who is thoroughly familiar with your situation and who can represent you if this occurs.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Phoenix to Learn More
Even though an uncontested divorce can be quicker and less stressful, there are still many requirements, deadlines, and procedural issues to address in order to successfully obtain your divorce. Having the assistance of a skilled divorce attorney who understands Arizona laws can make the process as stress-free as possible for you.
The law office of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC handles all types of divorce-related cases. Whether you have an uncontested case, you want to try mediation, or you know your spouse will refuse to cooperate, we can help. We serve clients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Prescott, Arizona, so call (800) 409-0262 or contact us online to set up an appointment today.