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The Divorce Process: How Arizona Divorce Cases Typically Proceed

Posted By Legal Team | January 16 2017 | Divorce

Below is a general overview of what to expect from the divorce process in Arizona.
While our overview sheds some important light on the typical phases of a divorce case, please don’t hesitate to contact the Scottsdale divorce lawyers at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau when you are ready for more insight and answers regarding Arizona divorce – and your best options for protecting your interests throughout the process.

An Overview of the Arizona Divorce Process

  1. Filing for divorce An Arizona divorce case will begin when one spouse officially files a divorce petition with a family court. Once this happens, the petitioner (i.e., the spouse who filed the initial petition) will have to make sure the other spouse (i.e., the respondent) is served with a copy of the divorce petition. If the respondent agrees to all of the requests the petitioner has made in the filings, the divorce can proceed as an uncontested case. If not, the divorce will proceed as a contested case.
  2. Divorce discovery – This is essentially the “investigation” phase of the divorce case, during which each party gathers information regarding the issues at dispute. As part of discovery in Arizona divorce, the parties may need to exchange various evidence and/or information with each other, and they may need to be deposed.
  3. Divorce mediation Mediation is an alternative to traditional divorce proceedings in court. This process, which is overseen by a mediator, provides an opportunity for divorcing spouses to try to work out their own resolutions to the issues of their divorce, such as disputes regarding the division of the marital property or custody arrangements. While divorcing couples may opt to try mediation (before taking their case through the traditional divorce channels), Arizona family courts may require mediation (before trial) under some circumstances – like when children may be involved.
  4. Divorce court proceedings – When the disputed issues in a divorce case can’t be resolved via mediation (or couples choose not to participate in non-mandatory mediation), the divorce trial process will get underway. Simply put, this aspect of the divorce process in Arizona will involve the presentation of evidence and arguments before a family court judge, who will then rule on each matter being disputed (after hearing all of the facts of the case).
  5. The final divorce decree – This will be issued by the presiding family court judge – either after the divorce trial has been concluded or when couples (going through an uncontested divorce or mediation) have developed a mutually acceptable divorce settlement on their own. Once the final divorce decree has been issued, its terms will be legally binding, and these terms can only be altered by going back to court (to pursue a modification of the decree or agreement).

Ready to Get Started? Contact a Scottsdale Divorce Attorney at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau

When you need superior representation in an Arizona divorce, you can rely on a Scottsdale divorce attorney at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau. Dedicated and experienced, our lawyers have been committed to helping people resolve their important family law matters since 1987.
To receive professional advice and learn more about how we can help you, schedule an initial consultation with one of our lawyers today. You can set up this meeting by calling (480) 209-1918 or by emailing us using the contact form on this page.
From offices based in Scottsdale, our firm represents clients throughout the metropolitan Scottsdale area, including Scottsdale, Mesa, Surprise, Maricopa County, Pinal County, Gila County and throughout the state of Arizona.

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