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Making Good Use of Arizona’s “Cooling Off” Period in a Divorce

When your marriage breaks down, it might be tempting to rush through divorce in order to end the tensions and conflicts and start a new chapter in your life. In Arizona, however, there is a public policy of encouraging divorce litigants to stop and think before they dissolve the bonds of matrimony, in the hope that they will decide to give their marriage another try.

Arizona state law imposes a 60-day waiting period, beginning on the date a divorce petition is filed. You and your spouse may, of course, take advantage of this “cooling off” period to try to reconcile your differences.

Woman at Computer with Financial RecordsHowever, if you are resolved to proceed with the divorce, you can use this waiting time productively. Here are some ways to do so:

  • Discovering information — You may need financial documents and information from your spouse, such as about their assets, debts, income and expenses. This is vital to preparing your affidavit of financial information, which is used in dividing property and calculating alimony and child support.
  • Preparing yourself for trial — If your divorce is contested, you might need to give testimony. You can use the waiting period to practice explaining your side of the story and answering potentially hostile questions your spouse’s attorney might pose. Your divorce attorney can give you valuable help in this regard.
  • Resolving disputed issues — Attorneys for you and your spouse can, with your permission, negotiate a settlement of some of the issues involved in your divorce, such as child custody and visitation and the disposition of particular items of property.
  • Preparing you and your children for life after divorce — Even if you are already separated when you or your spouse files for divorce, you might need to make plans for you and your children to adjust to a permanent change of lifestyle. You can take the time to prepare your children for what lies ahead and to reassure them that they aren’t at fault and that both their parents will continue to be an important part of their lives.

If used constructively, the 60-day waiting period can be a beneficial phase in the divorce process. The more effort is spent in preparation, the better the chances for bringing the case to a smooth and timely completion.

At Clark & Schloss Family Law, P.C., we represent people throughout the Scottsdale area in contested and uncontested divorces, providing experienced and knowledgeable counsel. Call us at 602-789-3497 or contact us online to schedule a conference at our Scottsdale office.

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