How Long Does a Divorce Take in AZ?
Going through a divorce is a very stressful ordeal. As a result, most people want to find a way to get through the process as quickly as possible. We are commonly asked how long it will take for a divorce to be completed in the state of Arizona. This, of course, depends on several factors. In addition to the state-mandated “cooling off” period, a divorce timeline can vary based upon how quickly you and your spouse can come to an agreement and how you decide to file and respond to a petition for divorce. Read on for more details.
Arizona “Cooling Off” Period
Many states have a designated “cooling off” period that goes into effect after a divorce has been filed. In Arizona, this period lasts for 60 days following the serving of divorce paperwork by the Petitioner to the person’s spouse. This timeframe allows the Petitioner (the spouse who originally filed for divorce) to think about the action of divorce and determine that this is the right course of action for the relationship, and it also allows the Respondent (the other spouse) the opportunity to file a response to the petition for divorce. The Respondent then has a period of 20 days after the petition has been filed to respond. If no response has come after this 20-day period, the Petitioner can make a request to move into a default divorce, thus giving the respondent 10 additional days to file his or her response. If no response is received after this time, the divorce may be granted to the Petitioner, meeting all conditions and circumstances outlined in the submitted divorce paperwork. Because of this short window of time, it is very important to have an experienced attorney from Schill Law Group working with you to ensure that everything is handled correctly and in a timely manner.
Uncontested Divorces in Arizona
In order for an Arizona divorce to be completed in such a short window of time, the divorce will most likely need to be uncontested. The State Bar of Arizona states that the majority of all Arizona divorces (90 percent) are not contested. This means that neither party is opposed to the divorce and that the divorce can likely be wrapped up shortly after the required 60-day waiting period. Typically, an uncontested divorce will take 3-4 months to resolve entirely, but this can vary depending on factors involving the marriage union and the family.
Contested Divorces in Arizona
Contested divorces will almost certainly take longer than the 3-4 months range that is typical of an uncontested divorce. In fact, in cases where the spouses absolutely cannot come to an agreement on the specific terms of their impending divorce, they will need to end up going to court. This can add another 6-9 months onto the overall duration of the divorce.
Regardless of whether your divorce is granted by default, is uncontested, or is contested, it’s always in your best interest to hire an attorney to represent your interests throughout the proceedings. Even the seemingly simplest divorces can become complex or lengthy if paperwork is filled out or filed incorrectly, or if one partner begins to get emotional throughout the process. No matter how emotionally stable you may feel that you and your spouse are at the beginning of the divorce process, it’s wise to understand that these proceedings can be difficult and taxing and that it’s important to have someone objective on your side.