As the best divorce lawyers in Gilbert AZ we often get asked, “how do I start my divorce and what are the requirements to get a divorce in Arizona?” I want to talk to you about how a divorce in Arizona starts, and what the requirements are to get a divorce in Arizona. A very common scenario in my practice is for someone to come to my office who has just found out that their spouse wants a divorce or maybe even they want to get a divorce but they just don’t know where to start.
Divorce is not something that I think anyone starts out ever thinking they’re going to have to go through but when that time comes, for most people it’s a mystery. So I wanted to talk a little bit about where you get started. In Arizona, in order to initiate a divorce, the person who wants to start the divorce has the file with the court a document called a petition for dissolution of marriage. It’s a divorce petition. This is the official court document that we filed with the court to let them know that you have an intention of getting divorced. What has to go into that particular document? Well, for one thing you have to be able to meet all the requirements necessary to get a divorce in Arizona. Those requirements include the following: You have to have lived in Arizona for at least 90 days before you file your petition. I’ve had a lot of people who may be moving to the state from a bad marriage out of state, and want to initiate a divorce but unfortunately they haven’t lived here long enough. So we tell them that we have to wait until they hit that 90 day threshold. You also have to be able to verify to the court in the petition that you believe that your marriage is irretrievably broken and cannot be saved through counseling. Arizona has a public policy that if marriages can be saved we want to do anything that we can to save them. In fact, Arizona even provides a free service to help people try to save their marriage if is it possible. But, if you don’t think that your marriage can be saved, we simply indicate in the petition that you believe your marriage is broken and cannot be saved. We also have to let the court know whether or not you’re currently pregnant.
Now, the petition itself will also cover a number of other issues that we have to cover in any divorce. For example, we’re going to let the court know exactly what your position is on things such as child custody (which would include legal decision making and parenting time) child support, spousal maintenance (if that is something you’re asking for) and of course the division of property and debt. That’s the initial document that we have to file with the court to get the case started. Once that’s done, then we go onto the next step which is serving the other party. If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve decided to go forward with the divorce, please call us at the law office of Kevin Jensen. We’ve handled divorces for over a decade, and we understand how to help people through this very difficult process.
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