Getting divorced is almost always a difficult and stressful experience. While it is unlikely that anyone looks forward to the process of getting a divorce, not every divorce has to involve heated arguments, a full trial, and spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on legal fees. If the parties to a marriage can agree on the issues that need to be resolved, the divorce is referred to as “uncontested” and the process of ending a marriage can be fairly straightforward and require little contact with the courts.
Below is some more information about uncontested divorce in Arizona. For specific information about your case, you should contact an experienced divorce attorney today.
The Basics of an Arizona Uncontested Divorce
As mentioned above, the determining factor that makes a divorce “uncontested” is that the parties agree on the terms of the issues that need to be resolved before the court grants a divorce. In an uncontested divorce, the court does not have to decide any of these issues for the couple, so there is significantly more certainty about the outcome of an uncontested divorce than there is in a contested divorce. In addition, uncontested divorces generally result in significantly lower legal fees than those that go to trial.
Do I Qualify for an Uncontested Divorce?
In order to obtain an uncontested divorce in Arizona, either you or your spouse must have been a resident of Arizona for at least 90 days before filing for divorce. In addition, you and your spouse must agree on the following issues:
- Your marriage is over and there is no possibility that you and your spouse will reconcile
- The way that your property and debts will be divided
- Whether one party will pay spousal maintenance (alimony) to the other spouse, and if so, how much these payments will be
- If there are children, legal and physical custody of the children, a visitation schedule, and child support payments
Do I need an Attorney to Get an Uncontested Divorce?
Many people wonder whether they should hire an attorney if they are seeking an uncontested divorce. After all, if both parties agree, what is the point of spending money on hiring an Arizona divorce lawyer? While it is certainly possible to file for and obtain an uncontested divorce without a lawyer, it is highly advisable for anyone considering a divorce to speak with a lawyer prior to filing any paperwork with the court or agreeing to any particular terms. Arizona family law is very complicated, and failing to have an attorney review your circumstances may result in you giving up certain rights or an unfavorable outcome. In addition, even if a divorce initially seems amicable and you believe that you will be able to work out the necessary issues with your spouse on your own, these situations can quickly deteriorate and result in significant disagreements. By retaining an attorney, you can ensure that you understand your legal rights during divorce and that you are prepared to aggressively defend them.
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