It is uncommon for a divorce case to start and finish without either party contesting at least one issue. However, it can happen, and so it is helpful to have an understanding of the uncontested divorce process. Knowing how an uncontested divorce takes place can help the parties to reach agreements where possible, and if not possible will provide insight on what will be at issue in the case. The timeline for an uncontested divorce is relatively short, but can take longer than the law provides for depending on how quickly the parties are able to reach agreement on the issues.
Generally speaking, an uncontested divorce follows this timeline:
- The case is initiated by filing a Petition.
- The Petition is served on the defendant, and he/she has twenty days to file an Answer. This time period is extended to thirty days if the defendant does not live in Arizona.
- Sixty days thereafter, the Judge will enter the decree. The decree will contain the entirety of your agreement on all the issues, such as child custody and visitation, and distribution of property.
Getting the Petition ready to file may be the most time consuming part of an uncontested divorce. This is because the Petition should contain a narrative of what the parties have agreed to regarding their case. If this sounds easy enough to do, don’t be fooled. It can take several conversations, and a lot of compromise to reach an agreement on each and every issue of your case. And, there are instances where one spouse simply “gives in” just to get the case over, and this can cause problems down the road. If you are engaging in lengthy discussions with your spouse about how to resolve your differences, an uncontested divorce might not be the answer for you. Instead, speak with a skilled family law attorney who will negotiate on your behalf and aggressively pursue remedies that meet your needs. While it might be tempting to expedite your divorce, you will end up unhappy if the agreement is not one that works. Call us today for more information.
For more information about divorce, contact us for an appointment today. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call The Sampair Group in Phoenix and the West Valley today to schedule your initial visit.