When you first file for a divorce and start the process, it will likely feel that there is a long journey ahead of you. Depending on how long you have been married, whether there are children involved, and the amount of -- as well as the nature of -- assets that are to be divided, the divorce process could take a significant amount of time.
If you are starting to consider filing for a divorce in the state of Arizona, it is important that you understand all of the different steps that you will likely have to go through. This will enable you to form a picture of the financial and emotional implications that the divorce process will likely have on you and your family.
The first steps in the divorce process
Usually, one spouse will take the initiative to formally request that the marriage be dissolved. This will involve going to the court in Arizona and filing a Summons. This divorce filing must then be served to the other spouse, and this should almost always be done in person.
The spouse who was served the divorce filing must then sign the papers within a given timeframe if they do not want to contest the divorce. These papers must then be filed with the court, and then the divorcing couple must wait for the divorce to be approved by a judge. Depending on many different factors, this could take up to 12 months.
There are many aspects of divorce that can complicate the process of filing and finalizing the divorce process. The couple may be unable to agree on the child custody arrangement for their children, for example.
Alternatively, one spouse may contest the divorce by attempting to receive a certain amount of spousal support after divorce. Often, contestations arise from the process of dividing assets, too.
Filing for a divorce can be complex and confusing so it is important that you read adequately about the specifics of the process before starting. There is a great deal that you can do in terms of preparation both from an emotional and logistical perspective before taking action to file for a divorce in Arizona.