As you might already know, the divorce procedure, costs, and time can differ greatly from state to state. There are no federal divorce laws in the United States.That means it’s up to each state to decide the rules for divorces. And while there are many similarities in the laws, each state has its unique way of doing things.
This article is part of our series on how to file for divorce in different states. It’s a question that a lot of people seeking a divorce want to know. And, again, it’s something that varies from state to state.
If you reside in Arizona, this is the article for you. We will share with you how to file for divorce in Arizona. You’ll also find some other helpful information for those wanting to get a divorce in AZ.
How To File For Divorce In Arizona
- Meet The Residency Requirements
Before you can file for a divorce in Arizona, the first step is to ensure that you meet the residency requirements in the state. In Arizona, the state requires at least one of the spouses to be a resident of the county they file in for a minimum of three months prior to when they will file for the divorce.
- Prepare Your Forms
The second prerequisite to file for a divorce are your prepared state required forms. The primary form to complete is the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage form. This can be found on The Arizona Supreme Court website.
Depending on the county where you or your spouse live, you may have additional forms to fill out as well.
When Can You File for Divorce from a Covenant Marriage?
A covenant marriage is one that has more requirements and legal commitments embedded into it. Most people choose a covenant marriage for religious reasons. And they notably have different rules when it comes to divorce.
There must be a legal ground for a divorce if it is a covenant marriage. You can file for a divorce for the following fault grounds:
- Separate living without reconciling for at least 2 years
- Separate living for at least exactly a year from the date of legal separation
- Intentional Desertion of at least 1 year
- Abuse and cruel treatment
- Felony conviction
- Drug or alcohol abuse
Arizona also allows no-fault divorce. A no-fault divorce can be filed by stating that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Filing For A Divorce
You will file for the divorce in the county’s courthouse. After filing for your forms, you are required to pay a court fee.
The average filing fees in Arizona is $280 . If you cannot afford the filing fee, you may ask for a fee waiver.
If you are the supposed defendant- because your spouse filed divorce against you, you need to respond promptly. Otherwise, your spouse can get a default/uncontested divorce.
Serving Your Forms
There are three ways in which you can deliver the divorce file to your spouse. These three ways are through the following:
- Sheriff deputy
- Private process service
- Through a non-party at the age of 18
Once service is completed, the spouse served has 20 days to respond. If the divorce in is filed outside of the state of Arizona, the time-frame may be extended. It can be extended up to a maximum of 30 days.
If your spouse is in jail, deployed in the military, or you cannot locate him/her, you may have to try another way of serving your forms. You can check in with your court clerk for support if this is the case.
During the divorce, there must be financial disclosure between the two spouses regarding the following:
- Mortgage expenses
- Credit card statements
- Pay stubs
- Tax returns
We hope that this article has been informative and helped you gain a better knowledge on how to file for divorce in Arizona.