Do it yourself arizona divorce laws

Even though these are official websites and forms, you should double-check with your local court to make sure the judges there will accept them. When you complete the forms, be thorough and complete in responding to the questions. Fill out the forms on a computer if you can.

A Guide to Divorce in Arizona

If not, write or print neatly and legibly. Generally speaking, you can expect to find two kinds of divorce packets: one for divorce with children, and one for divorce without children. You can also expect to find separate packets for the petitioner the spouse who is initiating the divorce and the respondent the spouse who has been served with divorce papers.

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You should select the packet the fits your situation. The packets include instructions to guide you through the process. The Mojave County Judicial Branch website is a good example of what you can expect to find when you navigate to your county court's website and divorce forms index. Eventually you will give one to the other spouse and keep the other for yourself. The original will be filed with the court. Go to your local courthouse and ask to file the documents.

When you give your documents to the clerk of court, they will be stamped with the date and time. If you're the petitioner, you will sign the petition in the presence of the clerk, who will notarize it for you at no cost. Serve your spouse as soon as possible after leaving. If you are the petitioner, it's important to know that Arizona law gives you a maximum of days to serve your documents on the respondent.

If you don't serve the papers within days, the clerk of court will dismiss your case automatically, and if you still want to get divorced, you'll have to start over. If you are the respondent, you also have an important obligation. If you live in the State of Arizona, you must respond to the summons and petition within 20 days, or your spouse can get a default judgment meaning, the court will give your spouse everything requested in the petition, without input from you against you. If you live out of state, you have 30 days. If you are the petitioner and you will be serving your spouse within the State of Arizona, special service rules apply.

You must serve your documents by having a deputy sheriff or a process server deliver them to your spouse. A process server is a private person who will charge a fee, but if you have a deputy serve the papers, you can ask a judge to waive or reduce the sheriff's service fee.

If your spouse lives outside of Arizona, you can mail the papers by certified mail, return receipt requested. Different rules may apply if you are trying to serve someone who is hard to locate, in the military, or in jail.

Check with the clerk of court for more advice in these unusual situations. Both the petitioner and the respondent have to complete an Affidavit of Financial Information.

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Divorce Forms

An affidavit is a statement sworn in front of a notary. Certain supplemental documents, like pay stubs and tax returns, have to be attached. This helps everyone to understand more about, for example, how much child support should be paid, or whether one spouse should receive alimony.

Make sure you are clear, detailed, and candid when you complete this form. File it with the court and serve it upon your spouse as well. You can see a good example of a blank Affidavit of Financial Information here. In Washington State the party who files first is listed as the "petitioner," the other party participates in the divorce as the "respondent. However, the person filing first certainly has options that the other party doesn't. For instance, the filing party can control when the first court hearing will occur and has a great influence on what issues will be addressed.

The filing party is the first to be able to request "ex-parte" relief from the court and often has the option of where the case where be litigated. You and your spouse do not both have to live in Washington State in order for you to be able to file for marital dissolution in Washington. You may file a marital dissolution in Washington State, IF:. In order for the Washington State court to make certain types of orders, Washington must have personal jurisdiction over the responding spouse the one who did not file the dissolution. If you are the responding spouse and you have never lived in Washington State, Washington State will not have personal jurisdiction over you unless you do something to give Washington State jurisdiction over you.

If Washington State does not have personal jurisdiction over the responding spouse, the Washington State court cannot order that spouse to pay maintenance or any debts, or divide any property that is not physically in Washington State. However, the petitioning spouse may still be able to obtain a divorce even if property issues will not be heard because of lack of personal jurisdiction over the responding spouse.

You may agree to Washington State having jurisdiction over you if you would like to do so. In Washington State, if you are not able to locate your spouse, you may still be able to file a marital dissolution and serve your spouse by publication. If you serve your spouse by publication, you may ask the Washington State court to end your marriage and divide any property and debts that are located in Washington State. You should think carefully before relying on service by publication, however.

First, if you serve your spouse by publication, you must follow the rules for service very carefully - if you do not, your court orders could be set aside years later. Second, service by publication does not give a Washington State court personal jurisdiction over your spouse unless you can prove that your spouse is hiding either inside or outside Washington State in order to avoid being served, or to avoid paying debts. If the Washington State court does not have personal jurisdiction over your spouse, you will not be able to ask the court to order maintenance or enter restraining orders.

You may file a petition for dissolution of marriage in the county where you live, or in the county where the respondent lives. If the case is filed in the county where one spouse lives, and the other spouse wants to move the case to the county where she lives, the court may but is not required to change venue. There is also the option of filing in Lincoln County or Wahkiakum County no matter which county in Washington either party resides where everything is filed through the mail and no court appearance is required. In Washington State you must wait at least 90 days after you filed the marital dissolution and you have served it on your spouse before you may enter final orders.

Overview of an Uncontested Divorce in Arizona

However, marital dissolutions often take longer than 90 days. If your spouse responds and does not agree with everything in your petition, the amount of time that will pass until your case is finished will depend on your county and how complicated your case is.


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In some counties, such as King County, the court will give you the date for your trial at the beginning of the case. In most other counties, you will need to file a request that the court set a trial date after the other parent has filed a response. If you filed the papers in Lincoln County or Wahkiakum County and the respondent either signed agreed the papers or did not file a response, then the final papers are sent in approximately 1 week before the 90 days is up and thereafter the Judge will sign the final documents.

In a Washington State divorce, each spouse must tell the court about all of his or her property and debts - separate and community. The court must divide all of the spouses' property and debts in the Decree of Dissolution. Washington State is a community property state.

Divorce FAQ - Pinal County

Generally, in Washington State, all property that either spouse gets during the marriage is community property and belongs to both spouses. If property, such as a house, other real estate or a car, is purchased during the marriage, the property is probably community property even if only one spouse is on the title.

Insider Tips on How to Prepare for an Arizona Divorce or Custody Trial

Each spouse's earnings, any pension benefits accrued, and any k contributions made during the marriage are community property. Separate property which belongs to only one spouse generally is property that the spouse got before the marriage, or which was given to that person by inheritance or gift whether before or during the marriage , or which the spouse got after separation. However, if you lived together in a stable relationship before your marriage, the property and earnings that you had during the time that you lived together may also be considered community property.

Generally, all debts created by either spouse during the marriage are community debts, which both spouses are equally responsible for paying. Separate debts are those that are made before the marriage or after the date of separation. In Washington State, the court can make any division of property and debts that is just and equitable, after considering:.


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In Washington State, how much property the court awards to each spouse, and who is ordered to pay what debts, will depend on a number of factors. In Washington State, the main factor the court will consider is in what type of financial condition will the division of property and debts leave each spouse after divorce. The court generally will not want to leave one spouse extremely wealthy and the other poor. Thus, for example, in a long-term marriage in which one spouse has not worked much outside the home, the court is more likely to award that spouse more of the community property or long-term maintenance to make sure that spouse does not end up much poorer than the other spouse.

Or, if one spouse is disabled and will not be able to work, the court may award the disabled spouse more of the community property. Likewise, the court may consider which spouse will be able to afford to pay the debts after dissolution when deciding who must pay them. In most cases, the court will award each spouse his or her separate property and order each spouse to pay his or her separate debts.

The court will award one spouse's separate property or separate debts to the other spouse only in very unusual circumstances. Some people sign a written agreement before they marry that states how the parties' property and debts will be divided if they should divorce. This is often known as a prenuptial or ante nuptial agreement. Other people sign an agreement during the marriage regarding their property, which states which property is community and what is separate. This is known as a Community Property Agreement. These are sometimes completed as part of an estate plan.

Still others may sign an agreement after they separate that divides property and debts - an agreement known as a Property Settlement Agreement or Separation Contract. In Washington State, this type of contract or agreement may but does not always determine how the court will divide property and debts in your particular case. Not necessarily. If your car and other property were purchased with money earned during the marriage, it is community property. Each spouse's income during the marriage is community property, so anything that you buy with either spouse's income belongs to both of you.

It does not matter whose paycheck was used. In Washington State, the court will divide the car and other property according to what the court decides is just and equitable overall. In Washington State, the court may award you an interest in the house sometimes called an equitable lien , depending upon a number of factors.

Because your spouse bought the house before your marriage, the house is your spouse's separate property.