Getting a divorce can be a very long and emotionally excruciating process that almost always takes a toll on you and your family. Calling it quits on a relationship that you vowed to stay in for as long as you live is bound to be complicated. Therefore, at times, it is best to leave and start fresh rather than giving time to something that does not make any sense anymore. However, the steps of getting a divorce will be as severe as coming to a decision itself.
The very moment you approach a divorce attorney, you will be thrown into a storm of regulations, procedures, and expenses. As if the burden of deciding to get a divorce was not enough, you would not want to face such exhausting things immediately. While it is true that not all things can be determined from beforehand, but what you can do is understand a bit about what you are getting into and what are the things you need to be prepared for.
Therefore, today, we have gathered together a guide that will help you know about the divorce procedure and much more. Give it a read to find out.
Generally, the first thing that you would like to know would be how long does it all take. The answer to that is, well, it depends.
Though divorce cases in Arizona, usually, may take anywhere from three months to a year or so, it all comes down to variable factors.
Let’s take a more in-depth look:
• The first factor that determines the duration is children. There are a ton of things involved the moment there is a child, especially a minor one. You will then have to take additional measures such as taking a parenting class, providing proof of income and expenses, dividing child support, and so on. Also, there will be at least one hearing before the divorce is granted.
• The second factor is about the agreement between the parties. This is where you and your partner decide the various details about the divorce and come to an agreement. If you come to a full understanding, then it’s well and good, and your case gets a consent decree or an uncontested dissolution. However, if there are disagreements, it becomes a contested divorce and makes the process longer, which brings us to our third variable.
• The third variable is whether the other party decides to hire a lawyer or not. In that case, it all comes down to understanding the tactics and strategies that the other party attorney will be using. Usually, this variable tends to get unethical and more time-consuming. It is so because the other party tends to employ strategies based on your personal life and actions to request reimbursements or change the divorce details in favor of their party. Such cases may get emotionally exhausting and involve trials, evidentiary hearings, or in some cases, both.
In an article published by Forbes in 2006, it was stated that average divorces cost somewhere between $15,000 to $30,000. However, keep it in mind that every case is somehow or the other different from the rest, and so the cost varies. The variables impacting the duration also plays a role here. A good part of the expenses of a divorce usually goes to hiring an attorney. Otherwise, factors such as fees for parenting classes, which is generally $50, and the charges for forms and such take up other expenses.
For settled divorce cases, the expenses may be around $2,500 to $3,500. However, it is the contested divorce cases that may cost on the heavier side.
We now come to the main part, which is starting the process itself. Let us get right into the details.
Filling the divorce
The first step that a divorce procedure requires you to do is to fill up the forms. This can get quite tedious and will include the following forms:
• A Petition For Dissolution of Marriage.
• Summons to appear or respond.
• A Preliminary Injunction (pointing out things that the parties involved can and cannot do while the case is on-going).
• Sensitive data or Family Court Coversheets (which includes personal information about the parties which should not be disclosed. These pieces of information are kept safe by the court and are not disclosed between the parties).
• A Notice of Right for converting health insurance.
• And if you have an attorney representing you from the beginning, then a Notice of Appearance.
You may be required to pay specific form fees, which varies from county to county. This may usually range between $350 to $200 and are subject to changes.
Service of Process
This is the step in the procedure where you let the other party know of the filing of the case. This is where you send the other party a formal notice, informing them that you have begun the legal procedures. You can notify the other party via certified mail, which costs up to $10-15 and is the cheapest method. However, in case the other party is refusing to comply with the divorce, you may hire a process server, which costs around $75-150.
If the party still does not come to comply or if the other party has gone missing, you can then ask the court of service via alternate methods. Here, you will need to show the court that you have tried all the means of approach, but to no avail. In that case, you will have the option of posting or publishing a legal notice in a newspaper, which could cost you up to $100-200, depending on the publication house.
There may be a few situations that can come up in the process of filing and getting a divorce. Let us take a quick look
• If both you and the other party agree to all the conditions, you can submit a signed consent decree. Once the judge signs it (the judge has 60 days to do so), you will be officially divorced.
• If the other party was served in-state, they would get a total of 20 days to respond to it, or 30 days, if they were served out-of-state. However, if the other party does not respond on time, you can file for a default judgment. The other party will be given a ten-day grace period, after which you can submit a final request and a default decree along with it.
• If the other party responds, then the next step would be to go to court. Here the judge will listen to both sides of the story and pass a judgment based on the cases presented.
We hope to have addressed most of your queries about the procedure of divorce. You can even file for an online divorce, Arizona. As mentioned earlier, the process of getting a divorce can be tiring and expensive. However, if you are set on it, it is better if you are prepared.