Do Couples Need To Go To Court For An Arizona Divorce?
If you choose an uncontested divorce, you can potentially go through the process without a hearing or a trial, provided you meet certain basic requirements and precisely follow procedures. However, the law has many rules, so you still need experienced legal support to help ensure you do not find yourself standing before a judge unexpectedly.
As long as no minor or unborn children are affected by the settlement terms and spousal maintenance is not an issue, any couple can potentially avoid a hearing — as long as both parties are legally competent and sane. The process is similar within all Arizona courts. The Maricopa County Superior Court requires the following general steps:
- After the person filing for divorce (the petitioner) completes all required paperwork and serves the other party (the respondent), they must wait 60 days after the date of service before completing and filing a “Motion and Affidavit for Default Decree Without a Hearing.”
- Once all required documents have been delivered to the appropriate court, the Judicial Officer reviews the submission, returning it to both parties in the event it cannot be processed due to deficiencies, identifying the errors and often explaining how to correct them.
- Whether the application is initially approved or becomes approved after any errors are corrected, the process is successfully completed once the Judicial Officer signs the final decree and the Courtroom Clerk file stamps the paperwork and mails it to both parties.
Going through the divorce process without a hearing reduces stress and typically saves time and money. However, even when both parties agree, the courts can find numerous reasons to require a hearing. An experienced Scottsdale divorce attorney can help determine whether you qualify for this process and make sure you complete the paperwork in a way that can lead to court approval.