You have questions about divorce, we have answers.
One of our missions is to improve access to legal information. For too long, it's been closely guarded by greedy lawyers who leverage this imbalance to justify insane legal fees. Below, we answer some of the questions most commonly asked about Arizona divorce and related issues, like community property and spousal maintenance. If you don't find the answer you're looking for, contact our Arizona divorce attorneys for a complimentary consultation.
Divorce in Arizona
This residency requirement only gives the family court the authority to divorce the parties, it does not necessarily confer jurisdiction over other issues like property division, spousal maintenance, and/or child custody. Additional jurisdictional requirements apply to those issues.
Once it is filed, the Petition and accompanying documents are served upon the other spouse, the Respondent. If served in Arizona, the Respondent has twenty days from the date of service to file a response or thirty days to respond if served outside of Arizona.
If the Respondent responds, the case is set for a preliminary hearing. If the Respondent does not respond, the Petitioner can apply for default.
At the very least, a divorce cannot be finalized for sixty days from the date the petition is served.
If the issues in the case are complex or aggressively contested by the parties, a divorce can take more than a year to finalize.
Each party will also be responsible for an initial appearance fee. Currently, in Maricopa County, the Petitioner pays $338.00 and the Respondent must pay $269.00.
Attorney’s fees in a divorce vary wildly. It is not uncommon for hourly attorneys to charge clients as much as $50,000 for relatively simple divorces. Many of these law firms require as much as $15,000 as an initial deposit and charge their clients for literally every minute of their time.
Our experienced divorce attorneys are committed to minimizing our clients’ costs. We offer affordable flat fees that typically save our divorce clients more than $10,000. Contact our divorce attorneys for a complimentary consultation.
Under Arizona law, unrepresented litigants are held to the same standard as an attorney. This means that you are expected to know the law and the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure. Mistakes can have irreversible consequences.
Contact our experienced Arizona divorce attorneys for a complimentary consultation.
When the family court decides a spouse is eligible for spousal maintenance, the judge must consider the computation factors set forth in A.R.S. § 25-319(B) to determine the amount and duration of spousal maintenance.
There are certain advantages available in legal separation unavailable in Arizona divorce. Notably, the parties may remain eligible for their spouse’s insurance benefits.
Conversely, the greatest disadvantage of legal separation may be that the parties remain married and, thus, unable to remarry.
If your divorce does involve children, the preliminary injunction prohibits taking the children out of state without the other parent’s permission or a court order.
In these situations, it is especially important to hire an excellent divorce attorney who can prepare and execute a comprehensive discovery strategy to obtain evidence of the concealed assets.
Our Arizona divorce attorneys aggressively pursue sanctions against litigants who attempt to hide income or assets, including the reimbursement of our clients’ attorneys fees.
Usually these awards result from a disparity between the parties’ financial resources or a party’s unreasonableness, pursuant to A.R.S. § 25-324.
One of the ways this can happen is if the separate funds are deposited into a joint account and commingled with community funds.
A common example of this is when one spouse owns a home before the marriage, but the married couple pays the mortgage using community funds. The home in this example will remain sole and separate property but the other spouse may be entitled to some of the mortgage principal paid during the marriage.
Another common example is when improvements are made to a property or asset during the marriage using community funds or other joint contributions.