It used to be much more difficult to get a divorce in Arizona. Traditionally, someone trying to get divorced over their spouse’s objections had to prove in court that their spouse did something to destroy the relationship, such as commit adultery or abandon the family.
None of that is necessary today, thanks to no-fault divorce. Like every other state, Arizona no longer requires you to prove a specific reason that your marriage must end. The only grounds you need to claim are an “irretrievable breakdown” in the relationship. However, your spouse gets to contest that claim if they oppose getting divorced. This creates a contested divorce.
‘Cooling-off period’ required
The law requires a 60-day “cooling off period” between filing for divorce and actually proceeding with it. When a spouse files for divorce and the other objects, the court will schedule a hearing 60 days from the date the divorce papers were served. At that hearing, each spouse will have the chance to argue whether or not their marriage is irretrievably broken. If both spouses agree to the divorce, they can use the 60-day waiting period to settle matters like property division, child custody and child support. This is known as an uncontested divorce.
Getting the best out of your divorce
Otherwise, negotiating a settlement will probably take a significant amount of time. One thing that can help shorten the process is working with an experienced family law attorney. Your lawyer can work with you to make your priorities clear and develop a strategy to fulfill them.