A divorce is a legal decree or judgment that dissolves a marriage. In Tucson, Arizona and throughout the state, divorces are called marriage dissolutions. The process of dissolution involves resolving issues regarding legal decision-making, parenting time, child support, spousal maintenance, division of joint, common and community property and debt, restoration of sole and separate property and debt, and recovery of court costs and attorneys fees if permitted by statute.
With few exceptions, Arizona is a no-fault state, meaning that neither party has to prove wrongdoing by the other party. The requirements for getting a divorce in Arizona are that one party must have resided in Arizona for at least 90 days prior to filing the petition and must testify that the marriage is irretrievably broken with no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.
Most counties in Arizona have Conciliation Courts which are a branch of the Superior Court. If one of the parties believes that counseling may resolve the parties’ differences, that party can ask for conciliation services that are provided free of charge. Mediation is mandatory in Pima County if both parties live in the county.
Either party may ask for entry of temporary orders so that issues such as legal decision-making, parenting time, child support, spousal maintenance and possession of the former family home may be heard by the court within 60 days from the date of filing. This eliminates many arguments that may occur during the dissolution action, but these orders are only in effect during the pendency of the action or until a superseding court order is entered. Permanent orders, in the form of a Dissolution Decree, are entered after successful settlement negotiations or a full trial on the merits.
In Pima County, Arizona, uncontested divorces generally take between 60 to 90 days before they are finalized. If a divorce is contested, it may take between 9 months to a year or more to be finalized, depending on the issues.*
To work with an attorney that can make the process as efficient and stress-free as possible, contact Susan M. Schauf, PLLC in Tucson, AZ today to schedule a consultation.
*The information in this message is general and should not substitute for the advice and counsel of a licensed attorney.