What is an uncontested divorce? An uncontested divorce refers to a dissolution of marriage action where the parties are not disputing the terms of the divorce. In that case, you do not need to go to trial. You can get an uncontested divorce in Arizona if you and your spouse agree on the issues with the help of a mediator or otherwise. You can also get an uncontested divorce if your spouse will not contest what you file. Either way, avoiding contentious litigation generally means you save money.
What are the costs of an uncontested divorce? To initiate the divorce in Maricopa County, one side has to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and pay a filing fee which costs $349.00. If the parties will file a Consent Decree of Dissolution of Marriage (meaning they agree to the terms), the other party needs to file a $274.00 filing fee. However, either party may be able to qualify for a deferral or waiver of the Court fees if financial conditions exist that support that request.
If you have children and want joint decision-making, you also need to take a Parent Information Program Class, which will cost $50.00 per person to attend. Classes are available online.
Mediation: If you need assistance reaching agreements with your spouse, you can jointly retain a mediator. The mediators at Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC will mediate your dispute for $250.00 per hour, in addition to a one-time administrative fee of $50.00. Most mediations can be completed in one to four hours. Mediators can also help you with the documents that need to be filed with the court.
Litigation or Legal Advice: If you need legal advice, you can pay an attorney for just the advice or for representation. The amount of this cost depends on the amount of help you need. You can obtain legal advice or representation at Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC for $350.00 per hour. If you need representation, rather than just some advice, there will be an upfront fee in an amount that will be determined based on your needs.
Document Preparation: If you want someone to only prepare the Court documents for you, Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC can do that for you as well. For $250.00, Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC will give you a one-half-hour legal consultation and prepare the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and all of the documents that need to be filed with it.
While Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC cannot act as both a mediator and an attorney in your case, we offer a variety of services from which you can choose. We would be happy to speak to you about what option will best serve your needs.
Alona M. Gottfried is a mediator and attorney in Arizona. If you have questions about mediation or family law, she can be reached at: 480-998-1500 or alona(at)sglawaz.com. This is a general interest article only and is not intended to be legal advice. See a legal professional before making legal decisions.
Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC
a Professional Limited Liability Company
8160 E. Butherus Dr., Suite #7
Scottsdale, AZ 85260