If you are considering divorce, it is wise to consult with an experienced attorney. There are several important documents that need to be filed. Understanding the correct procedures, knowing what information to include, and serving divorce papers on your spouse is challenging.
This is the time to contact an experienced Arizona divorce attorney.
At Cohen Family Law, we regularly guide clients through divorce proceedings. We have in-depth knowledge of the courts’ rules and procedures and will work to protect your interests. A do-it-yourself divorce can cost more time and money than working with an attorney. Moreover, your case may be dismissed if you file the wrong papers and do not follow the proper procedures.
Whether you have questions about which divorce papers to file or you need to respond to a petition for divorce, it is crucial to have trustworthy legal advice. Contact our Phoenix office to schedule a consultation.
Important Divorce Forms That Must Be Filed in Arizona
Before you file for divorce, you should know that under Arizona law you must have lived in the state for at least 90 days before filing. Also, the papers should be filed in the country in which you reside and cases involving children have different requirements that must be met.
As the person filing for the divorce, you are known as the petitioner and the other party is the respondent. Divorce forms that must be filed with the court clerk by the petitioner include:
- Family court/sensitive data cover sheet — This document provides the court with important data regarding marital assets, debts, and income.
- Summons — This legal document, which must be attached to the other divorce papers, requests the other party’s appearance in court.
- Preliminary injunction — An injunction is designed to prevent both parties from transferring any community property and prevent either parent from removing the children from the jurisdiction.
- Petition for divorce (with children) — This form notifies the court that you intend to file for divorce and that children are involved. In a divorce involving children, you may be required to file additional documents.
- Petition for divorce (without children) — This is the legal document that must be filed if there are no children involved in the marriage.
- Notice about health insurance coverage — This document informs both parties of their right to continue coverage under a spouse’s plan if such coverage is in place when the divorce is filed.
- Notice regarding creditors — This form identifies potential creditor issues that may arise in the divorce and options for obtaining information about any existing debt.
This is only a brief description of the divorce papers you need to file, and there may be additional documents to file during the divorce process. However, the Petition (formally referred to as a Petition for the Dissolution of Non-Covenant Marriage) is very important to your case.
A petition is a verified pleading in which you affirm that everything within it is true and accurate. You must complete the petition honestly and include the required information, or else you may be barred from presenting your claim. Finally, the other party has the opportunity to respond to all the claims raised in the petition.
Respondent Divorce Forms in an Arizona Divorce
If you have been with divorce papers by your spouse, you must file a timely response, usually within 20 days of being served. If you agree with everything in the divorce papers, you can choose to file a consent decree, in which case the divorce will be uncontested. If you intend to contest the divorce you must file a “Response to Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.” In any event, if you fail to respond to a petition for divorce, your spouse may file for a default with the court, and the case will be ruled in his or her favor.
Why You Need an Attorney to Help File Your Divorce Papers
Legal documents can be complicated and confusing and the divorce packets provided by the county courts contain forms that may not adequately address the specifics of your case. It takes a skilled attorney to help you complete all the necessary legal documents accurately and avoid costly mistakes. Divorce is about more than drafting legal documents and completing forms, however.
Given that Arizona is a community property state, all property acquired by the couple during the marriage must be evenly divided. Issues can arise involving the family home or a closely held business that require the advice and counsel of a knowledgeable attorney. Similarly, in a divorce involving minor children, the parties must agree to a parenting plan before the court will grant a divorce. By working with an experienced lawyer, you can make sure your parental rights, and your children’s best interests, are protected.
Divorce can be a difficult emotional and financial transition. Trust the team at Cohen Family Law to help you understand the process, prepare and file the necessary documents, and work with you to settle your divorce expediently and efficiently.
Contact Our Experienced Arizona Divorce Attorneys
Whether you are filing for divorce or you have been served with divorce papers, you need the informed representation we provide. When you become our client, you will have peace of mind knowing that your interests will be protected. Please contact our office today to speak with an experienced divorce attorney.