How Long Does Divorce Take in Arizona?

The length of the divorce process depends primarily on how agreeable the two spouses are to each other. Some divorces can complete in just a few months, while others proceed to a trial that can last a year or more. Here are basic timelines of the Arizona divorce process.

How quickly can you get a divorce in Arizona?

How Long Does Divorce Take in Arizona?

The quickest divorce in Arizona takes 61 days from the date of service. This is because the state requires a 60-day waiting period in which either spouse may attend marital counseling services provided by the court. For some couples, this may be a way to save their marriage.

In a few cases, the divorce may be finalized faster if the other spouse does not respond to the divorce papers served by the filing spouse. In this “default divorce,” the court can grant the divorce petition of the filing spouse in as little as 30 days.

Outside of defaulting, a quick divorce can only happen if both spouses easily agree on all divorce matters such as property division, spousal support, and child custody. However, if the two parties have disagreements on any of the divorce issues, their contested divorce will proceed until either they reach a settlement or the court decides for them during litigation.

Note also that Arizona has a residency requirement of 90 days, meaning a person has to have lived in the state for at least 90 days before they can file for divorce.

How long does it take to get a divorce if both parties agree in Arizona? (Uncontested Divorce)

An uncontested divorce is one where both spouses immediately agree on all divorce issues. In Arizona, this can be finalized in as little as 61 days, following the minimum 60-day waiting period mandated by state law.

An uncontested divorces starts when one spouse petitions for dissolution of marriage and serves the papers to the other party. The responding spouse then has 20 days to file a response, or 30 days if they live out of state. If the responding spouse misses their deadline, the divorce will default in favor of the petitioner.

If the other spouse does respond and they do not contest the divorce, they can indicate in their response that they agree with all the provisions in the divorce petition. Both parties must then sign a consent decree, have it notarized, and submit it to the judge.

The judge will schedule a hearing to ascertain the soundness of the decree or if it needs corrections. If the judge approves of the decree, they will sign it to finalize the divorce.

How long does a contested divorce take in Arizona?

A contested divorce – or one where spouses have certain disagreements on divorce matters – can last anywhere from a few months to two years. This depends on how quickly they can resolve their disputed issues. These are the basic steps in a contested divorce in Arizona:

  • Filing, serving, and responding. The petitioning spouse files for dissolution of marriage and serves the initial documents to the other spouse. The responding spouse must then file their response within 20 days (or 30 if they are out of state).
  • Disclosure and discovery. The two parties exchange comprehensive information about their assets, debts, and incomes. They can also gather evidence and witnesses on disputed divorce issues like spousal maintenance or child custody. Having a lawyer is valuable for each party during this stage.
  • Alternative dispute resolution. The court will set a hearing date for the trial, but as most courts are busy, that date is usually months into the future. In the meantime, the couple may go through an alternative dispute resolution process such as mediation. Through mediation, they can get the help of a neutral mediator to find a mutually acceptable resolution to their dispute.
    Many couples find mediation helpful in making the divorce process faster and smoother. Some take only a few months to reach a settlement. Once they arrive at an agreement, they can submit it to the court for finalization.
  • Trial. If dispute resolution doesn’t work, the divorce will proceed to trial so that the court can decide on the disputed issues. This is typically an argumentative stage where a lawyer’s representation can be crucial. A divorce trial can take about a year or two, depending on the complexity of the case. 

Call an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Arizona 

Whether you’re having a contested or uncontested divorce, it’s important to protect your rights and what you are entitled to. Too many spouses are unaware of their entitlements or unable to fight for their rights when facing the other party.

Consult a divorce attorney from Goldman Law. We are top-rated in the field of Family Law and have helped numerous clients get favorable outcomes from their divorce, even in highly complicated cases.

Talk to us about your situation. Call (602) 698-5520 or use our contact form for a consultation.