An uncontested divorce is where the opposing party fails to respond to the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. If the respondent spouse lives in the State of Arizona, the respondent has 20 days from the date of service to file a response with the court, including payment of a filing fee. A copy of the response must be served upon the moving party’s (petitioner’s) attorney. If the responding party lives outside of Arizona, that party has 30 days within which to file a written response and pay his/her filing fee.
If the responding spouse does not respond to the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in a timely fashion, the petitioning spouse may then file an Application and Affidavit of Default. This is a pleading that states that the foregoing time periods for responding were not met and asks that default be entered. The Application and Affidavit must be sent to the responding party who then has an additional ten working days to respond by filing the appropriate response and paying the applicable filing fee with the court. If no response is filed within ten days, then the court will enter a default, meaning that no response can be filed unless the court sets the default aside for good cause shown.
After 60 days have passed following the service of the original Petition for Dissolution on the opposing party, the court may enter a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage at a default hearing scheduled by the moving party with no prior notice to the non-responding party. Depending on the circumstances, a default decree may sometimes be entered without a hearing. The petitioning party usually gets whatever relief is requested, provided that it is reasonable, due to the failure of the opposing party to respond.
*The information in this message is general and should not substitute for the advice and counsel of a licensed attorney.