Arizona is a no-fault divorce state. Either spouse can initiate divorce proceedings by raising a claim that the marriage is irretrievably broken. They can then either negotiate with their spouse about property division and parental responsibilities or prepare to take their issues to family court.
Sometimes, one spouse is eager to divorce while the other would prefer to preserve the marriage. They may feel like the divorce filing is unfair or that the issues the couple face are temporary, not a sign of an irretrievably broken relationship.
Is it possible for one spouse to contest a no-fault divorce filing in Arizona in an attempt to remain married?
Yes, the state allows people to question a divorce
It is possible for the spouse who did not file for the divorce to try to prevent the process from moving forward. They can contest the claim that the marriage is irretrievably broken. That will lead to a 60-day delay before the divorce can move forward. The state will require that the spouses meet to discuss their marriage and the possible divorce during those 60 days.
Occasionally, spouses will be able to work out the issues that led to the divorce filing and will decide to remain married. Many other times, one spouse contesting the claim that the marriage is irretrievably broken only delays the process of divorcing. Even if only one spouse wants to move forward with the divorce proceedings, they can typically do so after fulfilling the obligation to wait 60 days and meet to discuss the matter with their spouse during that time.
An inability to agree on whether the divorce is necessary could constitute an irreconcilable difference that justifies a divorce filing. The decision to dispute the filing won’t prevent a no-fault divorce from moving forward. People can only defend against fault-based divorce filing.
Even those who are unhappy with the idea of divorce may come to accept it given enough time. They may even be open to negotiating terms for an uncontested divorce instead of litigating the details. Recognizing that one spouse’s preferences won’t prevent a divorce may help people feel more confident about their decision to file.