Family life does not always work out as we would like. Sometimes, spouses understand that it is better to break up than burden each other with marital duties.
A mutual agreement for divorce lets couples have a do-it-yourself divorce, allowing spouses to represent their interests in court without an attorney and reduce the cost.
Who Can File for a DIY Divorce in Arizona?
Filing for a DIY divorce is ideal under the following circumstances:
- the couple meets the residency requirements;
- both spouses agree with the terms of divorce (property division, child custody, child and spousal support);
- both spouses have complete information about family assets, property, and debts; and
- both spouses are entirely satisfied with the conditions of parental time, alimony, and child support payments and with other settlement aspects.
Arizona law requires one or both spouses to be a resident of the state for at least 90 days before applying for a divorce. The same rules apply to military service members in Arizona. The petitioner or the respondent only needs to show a driver’s license, a voter registration card, or state identification with a current address to confirm the residency.
If a couple cannot agree on a divorce settlement, they can hire a mediator or arbitrator to resolve the issue. The mediator will consider the arguments of each partner and offer a compromise solution. However, if the spouses can not agree through mediation, they should hire lawyers and refer the entire case to the court.
How to Prepare Divorce Papers in Arizona?
To start the divorce proceedings, the spouses must complete the appropriate legal forms. There are two options for a DIY divorce – do it entirely yourself or with the help of online divorce companies.
In the first case, the spouses independently select and fill out the divorce documents. They can find a list of required legal forms on the Arizona Judicial Branch website or contact the county court clerk.
The second option is getting divorce forms over the internet.
Online divorce is an inexpensive and quick tool for completing the paperwork for the dissolution of marriage. However, these services primarily work only with uncontested divorces.
Web divorce is an affordable and straightforward platform for fast and high-quality document generation. Many online divorce companies provide a detailed filing guide along with a ready-made set of papers. And the low price of services allows spouses to reduce the cost of divorce.
Here is a list of some divorce forms in Arizona:
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage;
- Parent’s Worksheet for Child Support Amount;
- Decree of Dissolution of Marriage;
- Child Support Information Forms;
- Child Support Order;
- Joint Custody Parenting Plan;
- Petitioner’s Declaration of Information For Conciliation Court;
- Acceptance and Waiver of Service;
- Affidavit of Service; and
- Application and Order to Waive or Defer Filing Fees.
How to Get an Internet Divorce?
To receive completed divorce forms online, spouses should:
- choose a suitable online divorce company;
- submit an application for divorce online after going through a marriage survey;
- wait two business days;
- get ready-made forms for printing and signing.
What are the Grounds for Divorce in Arizona?
When getting a divorce, spouses should point out the reasons for the breakup. In Arizona, the court allows couples to file for a no-fault divorce. It means that partners do not need to prove the misconduct of the other spouse. Instead, as the grounds for the divorce, the petitioner indicates that the marriage broke up due to irreconcilable differences, and the spouses can no longer get along with each other.
An exception from the rules is covenant marriage. However, getting a divorce from a covenant marriage can be difficult. There are several requirements that spouses need to fulfill.
The grounds for divorce from the covenant marriage are such as:
- conviction of a felony and sentenced to death or imprisonment;
- abandoned for at least one year;
- physical or sexual abuse;
- domestic violence;
- separation for at least two years before filing; and
- drugs or alcohol addiction.
How to File for a DIY Divorce in Arizona?
After the spouses have prepared the divorce forms, they need to make two additional copies. The original will remain with the court, and the spouses will distribute the copies among themselves.
The petitioner should submit the papers to the county clerk for verification. It would be helpful if the petitioner contacts the clerk in advance and double-checks whether they have collected all the forms and the amount of the filing fees.
When the county clerk approves the documents, the petitioner must pay the filing fees. If the petitioner can not pay due to low income, they can file for a payment waiver. The divorce process will begin as soon as the fee is paid, and the spouses will receive their case number.
After the spouses have submitted the papers, there is a mandatory waiting period. In Arizona, the waiting period is 60 days. Only after the waiting period has passed can the court grant the divorce.
How to Serve Spouses with Divorce Papers?
Serving the other spouse is a mandatory step in a dissolution. It can be done in person, by registered mail, hiring a sheriff, using a specialized service, or publishing in a local newspaper.
The petitioner chooses which method is preferable. It all depends on the price, the circumstances, and the relationship of the partners. In a DIY divorce, the petitioner can deliver a copy of the documents to the respondent in person.
In a DIY divorce, spouses should remember that a lot depends on their desire to work as one team. The fewer disagreements a couple has, the easier and faster it will be to get a divorce.