Which divorce documents are needed in order to move forward? Making the decision to end a marriage is never easy, even if you have an amicable relationship with your soon-to-be-former partner. The process is very involved, it can take a great deal of time to complete each necessary step, and the paperwork can be overwhelming. It is helpful to have resources and support from trustworthy sources as you file for and finalize your divorce.
Family court cases will vary based on the specifics of each case, so our services are personalized for your needs. Having the support of a legal team to analyze your documents and ensure they are correct can take some of the stress of divorce away, eliminate the need for expensive attorney fees, and help you complete the Arizona divorce process on your own.
Arizona Divorce Basics
The process of filing for divorce varies from state to state, so it is important to understand what is required in your state. Arizona has a residency requirement that specifies at least one of the spouses must have lived in the state for a minimum of 90 days before a divorce petition can be filed. There are also two types of divorce available in Arizona: contested and uncontested.
An uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses are in full agreement regarding topics such as property division and parenting decisions. Contested divorce proceedings occur when one spouse does not agree to the divorce or when spouses cannot agree on its terms. Contested divorces are often more challenging to finalize and require things like mediation and more court involvement. Regardless of how your divorce proceeds, it is important to be aware of the documents you need to file for divorce in Arizona.
Which Divorce Documents Do You Need to File in Arizona?
The process of completing a divorce in Arizona requires paperwork for each step, from the initial dissolution request to a motion to amend if you need to change anything once the divorce is finalized. It can be difficult to keep track of all of the paperwork, especially if your divorce encounters any delays or problems, so having legal support can be invaluable. A legal document service can provide you with the documents you need, verify that everything is correct, and assist you through every step of the process.
Documents to Begin the Divorce Process
Once you make the decision to file for divorce, you will have to petition the Arizona courts to get the process started. This process is called the petition and is completed by a single spouse, in most cases. There are several key documents that must be filled out during the petition phase, and they are available in a single packet that will be filed. Required documents may change, depending on if there are children involved in the marriage or not.
Required documents include:
- Sensitive Data Cover Sheet – This document is where any preliminary information, such as name, age, gender, and address will be listed. Individuals who wish to have their location protected, perhaps in the event of abuse, do not have to include their address on this form.
- Summons – This document lets the other spouse know that the initial suit has been filed. They will have an opportunity to respond to this filing.
- Preliminary Injunction – This document informs the other spouse of the stipulations they must follow while the divorce proceedings are ongoing. Certain rules include not concealing earnings, not selling or giving away shared property, and not harassing the other spouse or family.
- Petition for Dissolution of a Non-Covenant Marriage Without Children – This is the official document that will be filed with the courts. It includes all of the necessary information about the marriage, including income, shared and separate property, debts, and tax information.
- Petition for Dissolution of a Non-Covenant Marriage With Minor Children – This is similar to the previous document, but it requires additional information about the ages of the children, any history of domestic violence, and requests for child support.
There may be other documents necessary during the petition process as your divorce proceedings begin, such as notifying both parties of their rights surrounding health insurance and creditors. Once the petition has been filed and the other spouse has been informed, they must file a response. Every document is not required for every divorce, so it is important to have legal guidance to ensure you complete the paperwork with correct and up-to-date information and submit it in a timely manner.
Some divorce proceedings are relatively simple and do not require extensive mediation, motions, and amended agreements. This is most common in uncontested divorces, where both parties have reached an agreement about major hurdles like child support, asset division, and spousal maintenance. Once all of these agreements are reached, the spouses can file a consent decree to have their divorce finalized by a judge with no additional steps.
In some cases, the spouse who did not file for divorce, called the respondent, fails to respond within the correct period of time. When this happens, the petitioner can file a request for default, which gives the respondent an additional 10 days to respond. If they still fail to respond or don’t appear for the divorce proceedings within that time frame, then the case can be decided without their input. In these circumstances, the divorce decree will follow what was outlined in the initial filing.
Motion for Rule 12 Interview of Minor Child(ren)
Divorce can be a difficult and emotional process even under the best circumstances, but it can be especially challenging for children. Ideally, they would be able to have a voice when parenting time arrangements are being discussed. In some circumstances, a Motion for Rule 12 Interview of Minor Child(ren), must be filed for an interview of this variety to take place.
If there are children involved in the divorce, a parenting plan must be established. The parenting plan includes important details about how the child’s care will be handled, including issues with parenting time and legal decision making. This document also outlines which parent will have legal decision making abilities for the children, how much will be required for child support each month, and how the time with each parent will be divided. The parents are given an opportunity to make these decisions on their own, but if they are unable to, then the final determination will be made by a judge.
Arizona Property Settlement Agreement
One of the more challenging aspects of a divorce is determining how the shared assets of a former couple will be divided. Any property or assets that were gained during the marriage are considered community property, so they are subject to division. If one or both spouses had certain assets, like homes, vehicles, or stocks, prior to the marriage, then that is considered separate property and cannot be divided. A Property Settlement Agreement clearly outlines what assets and property are involved, whether they are community or separate property, and how they will be divided.
Finalizing a divorce in Arizona requires a significant amount of paperwork and documentation for things like asset division, earnings reports, and determining how children will be cared for. You can complete this process yourself by filing all of the necessary paperwork with the Arizona courts in your county, but it may be in your best interest to receive assistance from a licensed attorney.
Working with an experienced family law attorney can be costly, but their advice and input can be invaluable. If you require legal assistance but do not want to pay extensive attorney fees, you can rely on a legal document service for help with drafting, preparing, and filing the documents you need.
Arizona Divorce Document FAQs
The specific documents you need will vary based on the details of your divorce case. Every divorce proceeding will require a Petition for Dissolution of Non-Covenant Marriage, either with or without minor children. Both parties will also be required to complete a Sensitive Data Sheet. The petitioner will file a summons and preliminary injunction. Other documents, like a Consent Decree or Default Decree, may be required based on the specific details of your divorce.
Find the Proper AZ Divorce Documents
When you have made the difficult decision to end your marriage, it is essential that you have the support and resources you need to make the process as easy as possible. Working with a family law document service ensures any questions are answered, you have the correct paperwork, and everything is filed correctly.
Jonathan Roeder is one of the founding partners of Reppucci & Roeder. He is an Arizona native who has dedicated his life and career to the service of others. After graduating salutatorian of his high school class, Jonathan attended beautiful and prestigious Pepperdine University, where he majored in Political Science. During his tenure at Pepperdine University, his passion for helping others grew after securing a clinical position with a residential treatment center for juveniles with substance addictions. Post-graduation, Jonathan returned to Arizona and served as a residential manager for mentally and physically disabled homes.