What Is Included in the Divorce Papers I Receive From An Arizona Attorney?
Arizona Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)
One of the most important things to note about divorce (also known as dissolution of marriage) in Arizona is that either you or your spouse needs to have lived in the state for at least 90 days prior to the divorce. When it comes to deciding matters about children, such as child support or legal decision-making, you normally need to have lived in Arizona for at least six months prior to filing for divorce.
Paperwork Involved in the Divorce Process
Arizona is a no-fault divorce state, which means you don’t need to prove the other spouse did something wrong in order to be entitled to a divorce. Keep reading to learn more about the documentation typically involved in dissolution of marriage in Arizona.
1. Sensitive Date Cover Sheet
This form has personal identifying information required by the court. This document is filed with the Court, but is not accessible to public view. It is only for Court Staff.
2. The Petition
This is a document that notifies the court and your spouse of your intention to end the marriage. The petition also lists what you are asking when it comes to issues such as child visitation/support/custody, property division, attorney’s fees, and spousal maintenance.
The respondent has 20 days if living within the state and 30 days if living outside Arizona to respond to being served divorce papers. If the respondent does not act, he or she loses the right to present his or her side of the case to the court.
4. Preliminary Injunction
A preliminary injunction is an order from the court directing that neither party is allowed to do certain things without further court approval. Some of the things that are prohibited are no disposing of community property, no harassing the other party and any minor children common the parties cannot be removed from the state without court permission or consent from the other parent.
5. Parent Information Program Order
If minor children are involved, each parent must complete a Parent Program and file the certificate of completion with the court. This document gives the parties instructions on the requirement and how to complete it.
6. Affidavit of Minor Children
This form is required to provide specifics on the minor children involved and where they have lived over the past five years. It also informs the court of any previous or ongoing court cases involving the children.
7. Notice of Right to Convert Health Insurance
In the state of Arizona, each party must receive a notice that explains their rights and responsibilities regarding any existing health insurance policy.
8. Creditor Notice
State law also says that each spouse must receive a notice that explains their rights and responsibilities when it comes to debts accrued during the marriage.
You should be able to receive free divorce forms and templates from any Arizona courthouse. However, we find that template divorce forms are only suitable for a relatively small number of cases. Like a marriage, divorces in Arizona are usually unique; their circumstances require specificity in the divorce papers in order to ensure all issues are fully addressed and there is no question in the event one party has to enforce the orders that come out of dissolution of marriage.
For example, cases involving children can be extremely complex, and just one of the many things you need to know is the difference between “parenting time” and “legal decision-making”. It is also common for one spouse to seek “full custody”. Consequently, it is important to have your divorce papers prepared by an experienced law firm, such as the Mesa divorce lawyers at Edwards & Petersen, PLC who can explain to you how Arizona law reviews parenting-time and legal decision-making.
Division of Retirement Accounts
Along with property, retirement accounts may be the biggest assets involved in any couple's divorce. Any part of a retirement fund that has been contributed to during the marriage must be shared because it is deemed to be “community property”. The division of the retirement account can trigger a taxable event and either party could end up losing money due to taxes. It is important to understand the consequences of simply withdrawing or transferring money, without a proper order from the court. As you can see, the divorce papers given to you by a Mesa attorney can contain a wide range of information depending on factors such as whether you have children, the amount of property, and level of retirement assets you have.
The following sources were used in preparing the content in this article. Please visit the following links to learn more about dissolution of marriage in the state of Arizona.