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How to Initiate a Divorce and Tell Your Spouse

What is the First Step to Take When You Want to Start a Divorce?

If you want to get a divorce in Arizona, the first step to start the process is to determine if you meet the residency requirements for filing.

To start a divorce process, one spouse must have lived in Arizona for at least 90 days before filing. Once you’ve established that you meet the residency requirement, the next step is to select your grounds for divorce. Arizona is a no-fault state for divorce, which you can learn more about what that means in this article.

You will then need to prepare and file all necessary divorce paperwork with your local County Clerk’s office. Be sure to include certified copies of all relevant documents, such as birth certificates and proof of residence.

Finally, you will need to serve your spouse with a copy of the papers. This can usually be done by mail or through personal service via a process server or deputy sheriff.

Following these steps should help ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible when you start a divorce.

Is Arizona a No-Fault State for Divorce?

When it comes to divorce, the laws governing it vary by state. When it comes to divorce, Arizona is considered a no-fault state. This means that neither party has to prove any wrongdoing or fault to start a divorce. This makes it easier for couples to dissolve their marriage, as it eliminates the need to have blame for the breakdown of the relationship.

Arizona is one of many states that have adopted a no-fault divorce system. This means that couples can obtain a divorce without having to go through the difficult process of proving fault or wrongdoing.

In Arizona, couples must only state that their marriage has had an irretrievable breakdown, and this is enough to qualify for a divorce.

If you are seeking a divorce in Arizona, it is important to understand the legal process and requirements. While it is possible to file for divorce without the help of an attorney, it is highly recommended that you seek the assistance of a legal paraprofessional.

A legal paraprofessional can help you navigate the complexities of divorce proceedings, ensure that all necessary paperwork is filed correctly and on time, and represent your interests in court.

In conclusion, divorce laws can vary significantly from state to state, and it is important to understand the rules and requirements to start a divorce in Arizona.

If you are seeking a divorce in Arizona, the good news is that it is a no-fault state. However, it is still highly recommended that you seek the assistance of a legal paraprofessional to ensure that your rights and interests are protected throughout the divorce process.

Steps to Serve Someone With a Divorce

Serving someone with a divorce in Arizona is not an easy task. Below are the three general steps to serve divorce papers and start the process of a divorce in Arizona.

  1. As stated above, collect all the necessary paperwork and file it with your local court. This includes filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, which outlines the details of your divorce agreement and any relevant financial information, such as assets and debts.
  2. After filing, you must serve the opposing party with the paperwork. This can be done by mail or in person, but most courts prefer personal service. If you cannot locate the other party, you may have to ask the court for permission to serve them via publication in a newspaper or online.
  3. After serving them, you must wait for a response before taking further action.

Before Filing for Divorce: Do I Tell My Spouse?

There is no easy answer to the question of whether or not you should tell your spouse you want a divorce. On the one hand, it might be beneficial to tell your spouse your intentions to give them a chance to prepare and make any necessary arrangements.

Telling your spouse may also help ease some tension and animosity that can arise when one spouse files for divorce without warning. However, telling your spouse can open up a whole new range of potential issues and problems, especially if they are not expecting it. 

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether or not telling your spouse before filing for divorce is the best option for you and your family. You should carefully weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

What Happens After You Serve Someone With a Divorce?

Once a divorce is served in Arizona, the court will hold a hearing to determine the terms of the divorce. Both parties can present their case during this hearing and argue for their desired outcome. The judge will consider all relevant factors, such as any prenuptial agreement, spousal support arrangements, child custody, and visitation rights.

The judge may approve the terms without further proceedings if the couple can agree on their own before appearing in court. Once the judge signs off on the order of dissolution or legal separation, it becomes legally binding and enforceable by law. In some cases, a post-divorce decree may be issued, including further details on asset distribution and debt allocation.

What Steps Can I Take to Best Protect My Assets During a Divorce?

Divorce can be a stressful time, especially when it comes to protecting your assets.

Here are some steps you can take to ensure that you get the best outcome during a divorce: make sure to keep records of all financial accounts and assets, including bank statements, tax returns, and other documents; have an honest discussion with your spouse about dividing assets fairly; consult with a qualified legal professional or financial advisor who can help guide the process; and create a budget that takes into account potential changes in income due to the divorce.

Additionally, be sure to review any prenuptial agreements or other contractual arrangements before making any decisions. Taking these steps can help protect your assets during a divorce.

How Does Getting a Divorce Affect My Retirement?

Getting a divorce in Arizona can significantly impact your retirement plans. The division of assets and debts, as well as alimony payments, can reduce the amount of money you have available to save for retirement.

In some cases, the court may also order that one spouse pay the other’s share of Social Security benefits or other retirement plans. Additionally, if you are receiving spousal maintenance payments, those payments may be taxable income which could reduce your ability to save for retirement or increase your taxes due.

Finally, if you had joint accounts with your former spouse, those accounts must be divided during the divorce proceedings. They may affect how much you can contribute to investments or other retirement savings accounts. Understanding all of these potential impacts before getting a divorce in Arizona is important to plan properly for your future retirement.

What to Avoid Doing During a Divorce

During a divorce, it is important to remember that emotions can be high and that it is essential to keep a clear head to make the best decisions. It is important to avoid engaging in any activities or behaviors that could complicate the situation further or damage your reputation, even on social media. This means avoiding any angry outbursts, manipulation, or attempts to control the other party.

Additionally, it is not recommended to solely take legal advice from friends or family members as they may not be qualified, and their advice may be wrong. 

Finally, try your best to remain civil with your former partner, and remember that although you may not agree on every issue, both of you have rights and should be respected throughout the process.

Are There Different Steps I Should Take When Initiating a Divorce With Children Involved?

When asking for a divorce with children involved, there are certain steps you should take to ensure that the process is as smooth as possible. First and foremost, it is important to consider your children’s best interests and put their needs first. You should discuss the reasons for the divorce with them in an age-appropriate manner.

Additionally, both parties should prioritize co-parenting, focusing on what is best for the children rather than their own personal differences. 

Lastly, it is important to be open and honest with your children while also providing support and guidance throughout this difficult time. Following these steps can help make the divorce process easier for everyone involved.

Stephanie Villalobos, LP

A step that can be taken if you see yourself facing a divorce is to contact an experienced divorce paraprofessional at De Novo Law. The team of legal paraprofessionals will be able to concentrate on the case at hand so that you can easily make major decisions concerning custody arrangements.

Call us today at (480) 725-2200 to schedule your consultation.

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DISCLAIMER: The content of this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice.  De Novo Law, LLC and its Legal Paraprofessionals are not attorneys and are not authorized to provide legal advice or representation beyond the areas and scope of practice for which license is held.  The transmission or receipt of any electronic correspondence or information does not create a legal paraprofessional-client relationship.


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