Do I Have to Respond to a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in Arizona?

If you were served with a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or a Petition for Legal Separation (hereinafter “Petition”), ignoring it may result in unfair or otherwise undesirable orders. If you fail to formerly respond to the Petition within 20 calendar days of service (or within 30 days, if you were served outside of Arizona), your spouse could file an Application and Affidavit of Default.  You should receive a copy of this document in the mail.  If you fail to respond to the Petition … [Read more...]

Can I Get Divorced In Arizona If I Am Out Of The State Or Country?

As long as you or your spouse has been a resident of Arizona for 90 days or more at the time of filing, you can get a divorce in Arizona.  If you are in the military and serving overseas, Arizona may still be your residence. If you are divorcing using mediation or another cooperative means, you do not even have to come to Arizona to complete the divorce. With mediation, all discussions can occur over the phone or via Skype, or another online conference site.  The mediator would draft all the … [Read more...]

What Happens in an Arizona Divorce Mediation: Step By Step (Part Two)

This Article is the second part in a two part series describing in detail the Arizona divorce mediation process.  Please read Part One before reading this article. Link to Part 1 4.     During the mediation session, I also gather the information I need to draft the Petition for Dissolution package.  One of you will choose to be the Petitioner (the person who is the initial filer) and the other one will be the Respondent.  At the end of the session, you and/or your spouse pay me for the time … [Read more...]

What Is A Default Decree Or Default Divorce In Arizona?

A divorce is initiated in Arizona when a party filed a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.  The party who files the Petition is called the “Petitioner.”  The other party is called the “Respondent.”  The Petitioner has to serve the Respondent with the Petition.  Service is completed with the aid of a process server.  In the alternative, service is completed when the Respondent voluntarily signs a document called an Acceptance of Service.  The Respondent, if living in state, has 20 days to file … [Read more...]

Arizona Family Law Mediation – An Insider’s View

I am a legal assistant for a law and mediation firm in Scottsdale Arizona, and I assist with family law matters.  I have had a front row seat to observe the benefits of mediation, and the effect that costly and contentious divorce litigation has on all parties involved. With mediation, I see how happy our clients are with how quickly, inexpensively and amicably their divorce or other family law matter is completed.   The mediator helps the parties reach agreements in a comfortable and relaxed … [Read more...]

Arizona Divorce Laws

There are a number of divorce laws in Arizona that the Court and parties are to rely on in the Arizona divorce process.  There are statutes (called the “Arizona Revised Statutes” or “A.R.S.”), which are laws created by the Arizona legislature.  The laws regarding a dissolution of marriage are set forth in Title 25 of the Statutes.  That Title also addresses paternity actions, separation actions, grandparents/non-parents actions and modification and other post-decree actions.  The most widely … [Read more...]

How Do Assets Get Divided In An Arizona Divorce?

In an Arizona divorce, the parties’ community property must be divided equitably. The Arizona Divorce Laws are as follows; What is community property? Community property includes any property obtained during the marriage.  The exception is property one party obtains through gift on inheritance. What does equitably mean? The law says community property should be “equitably” divided.  That means that the division should be near equal.  In other words, instead of dividing a couch in half, one … [Read more...]

Proposed New Custody Laws in Arizona

The Arizona legislature is considering significant changes to the state’s child custody laws.  First, the proposed new law essentially creates a presumption that parents will be awarded joint custody (meaning that the parties are to make important decisions for the children together).  Arizona Revised Statute (“A.R.S.”) § 25-403(C) would state:  “In a disputed family law matter involving children, if both parents are found to be fit or capable to be a parent, the court shall not award sole … [Read more...]

What is an Arizona Custody Agreement?

In Arizona, parties to a divorce, paternity or modification action are encouraged to reach agreements regarding their children. The parties must first decide if they will have joint custody or one party has sole custody.  Custody is a function of decision-making.  Joint custodians make important decisions for the children (medical, educational, religious) together. Parenting times means, not surprisingly, what days / times the children spend with both parents.  Parenting time … [Read more...]

Judge Advocates for Family Law Mediation Instead of Litigation

Should Arizona offer mandatory Family Law Mediation If you are not convinced that mediation is better than litigation for your family law dispute, take it from a judge.  Justice Harvey Brownstone, a Canadian family court judge, wrote a book entitled:  Tug of War: A Judge's Verdict On Separation, Custody Battles And The Bitter Realities Of Family Court.  In it, he heavily advocates for mediation.  He notes that, no matter how good their representation, people who go to court for family law … [Read more...]

Alona M. Gottfried, Esq.
8160 E Butherus Dr, Suite #7 Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Phone: (480) 776-8271