When thinking of a divorce, people automatically imagine lots of time and money wasted on attorneys, dramatic court cases, and so on. This is often true for complicated, contested divorce cases where the spouses are disputing such matters as property division and child custody.
Nonetheless, the world does not stay in one place. Partners seeking a divorce can use a number of mechanisms to avoid most potential issues, including online services. However, these solutions apply to uncontested divorce cases. This article will provide information for those interested in filing for divorce online without a lawyer in Arizona.
Uncontested Divorce in Arizona
In the state of Arizona, getting a divorce is referred to as “dissolution of marriage.” In the case of an uncontested divorce, which is the main focus of this article, the process begins when one partner files the petition for dissolution, which includes basic information about themselves, their partner, and their children.
Several requirements have to be met to be eligible for an uncontested divorce in the state of Arizona:
- Partners should agree that the marriage is “irretrievably broken,” which is a pretty standard phrasing for the majority of other states;
- Partners have to agree on essential matters such as property division and spousal support.
If divorcees have children under the age of 18, they also have to come to terms with who will be the custodial parent and the visiting schedule for the noncustodial parent.
If partners aim to avoid involving a lawyer when filing for divorce, they will have to handle the paperwork themselves. Thankfully, the Arizona Judicial Branch website contains a pretty useful self-help center that provides a lot of information for people considering taking the matter into their own hands to avoid legal expenses.
Nonetheless, doing all the paperwork is often a confusing process as there are many divorce papers to be filled out. Unless a person has a specialized degree, all the bureaucracy may be intimidating.
That is why people willing to take the divorce process into their own hands are often highly likely to consider online divorce services. This is an excellent option for spouses who want to fill out the documents in a cheap and affordable manner.
Online divorce preparation tools are incredibly beneficial as they provide users with automated preparation of divorce papers that perfectly align with the state laws. This is supplemented by the speed of service (it usually takes around two days to have them done) and convenience (both sides can fill out the papers from any location that has access to the Internet).
After the Paperwork is Done
After filling out the appropriate papers, spouses can proceed with the divorce process in two ways — consent decree or default.
To proceed with this scenario, a petitioner (the one doing paperwork) has to serve the partner with copies of the documents. After a 60-day waiting period, both parties need to sign a Consent Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. This document basically highlights the partners’ terms and agreements regarding child custody, visitation conditions, child support, and property rights.
This decree has to be signed in front of a notary and filed to the county court clerk. The next step is to schedule a hearing or even order it through the court’s website! After receiving the decree, the judge signs it, and it officially becomes an order of the court.
Quite interestingly, for the state of Arizona, spouses must attend and complete a parent education class if they have children together for the judge to finish the process.
After filling out the papers, a petitioner has to serve the spouse with copies of the documents. They have 20 days to respond if they are served in Arizona or 30 days if they are served outside the state.
It is possible to begin the default divorce process by filing an Application and Affidavit for Default. After a 10-day waiting period, the petitioner can schedule a court hearing.
As with an uncontested divorce, the court will ratify the agreement at a hearing if all the terms and conditions have been agreed on. The divorce order is issued after a 60-day waiting period and is called a Default Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.
The divorce process in the state of Arizona is not that different from other states. There are waiting periods, paperwork serving conditions, and other basic procedures. People who want to go with the DIY divorce scenario can achieve this without a lawyer.
It is also possible to do lots of stuff online, like filling out the paperwork. Thankfully, online divorce paperwork preparation services are available in Arizona, making them an affordable and fast alternative to the services of a lawyer.