The contested divorce process in Arizona can take anywhere between one and two years or more to complete, and that has everything to do with the fact that spouses do not agree on key tenets of the divorce, such as child custody, child support payment amounts, spousal support payment amounts, and how both the assets and debt(s) should be split up in the divorce.
What Causes the Slow-Down in Contested Divorce in Arizona?
When your Arizona divorce is contested, as with all other types of divorce, the very first step is to petition for divorce, and then your spouse, usually with the help of his or her Phoenix divorce attorney, will draft a written response to the petition for divorce — legally, the response to the Arizona divorce petition must be completed and submitted within 30 days of the submission of the divorce petition.
Discovery: The Second Step of Divorce, Where the Process Often Stalls
In the next step of the Arizona divorce process, known as discovery, the Phoenix divorce lawyers on both sides of the process will convene to go over and verify the sum total of the jointly held assets, debts, and yearly income of the spouses combined — this collection of financial data allows the divorce lawyers to best determine who will be given which assets, who will be assigned what debt(s), and who, if either of the spouses, will be required to pay spousal support, and how much that support will amount to.
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What You Need to Know About Contempt After Divorce in the State of Arizona
Once a divorce in Arizona has begun in court and once a judge has made all of his or her rulings and all decisions have been made on both sides, if you willfully violate the orders of the judge, you could be found in contempt.
You can be found in contempt for a number of different issues, including things like the failure to pay any child support in any amount, the failure to pay any amount of spousal support, and finally, for making it difficult for another parent to have his or her parenting time with any child you share from a prior marriage.
Why an Arizona Judge May Rule that You are in Contempt
An Arizona family court judge may rule that you are in contempt for the above listed reasons, or because you have willfully chosen to not comply with any other court order s/he may have issued based on one or more of the unique details of your specific divorce case.
If you are found to be in contempt in Arizona because you willfully violated a judge’s orders, the penalties can be relatively harsh. For instance, the courts may decide that you must spend time in jail and/or that you must pay your ex-spouse’s court fees if you failed to pay any child support or spousal support.
In addition to this, you can have the wages you earned at work garnished by the courts if your particular contempt charge involves the nonpayment of child support or spousal support. This is just one way a judge will ensure that the court’s orders are satisfied and can come in addition to time spent in jail and other penalties.
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Uncontested Divorce: How to Get a Quick Divorce in Arizona with the Best Results for You
In most instances, an uncontested divorce will take less time to resolve through the courts, as it will not require that the divorce go to trial. Nonetheless, you will still need qualified, experienced legal representation to ensure that things like spousal support and child custody work out in a manner that is best for all parties involved, including any children you may have with your spouse.
Let’s take a look at how long an uncontested divorce in Arizona takes, and what else you need to be aware of before proceeding with your dissolution of marriage.
How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce in Arizona Take?
In the state of Arizona, in most instances, whether children are involved or not, an uncontested divorce will not take more than between 60 and 120 days to complete after the initial 60-day waiting period. Initially, there will always be a 60-day waiting period at the front-end of any Arizona divorce. This is known as a “cooling off” period and has been put in place to ensure that both parties involved in the divorce are entirely sure of the decision they are about to make to dissolve the marriage.
The a 60-Day Waiting Period for Uncontested Divorce in Arizona: Time for Marital Counseling
The divorce laws in Arizona are set up for this 60-day waiting period because the courts want to make sure that either or both spouses get the free marital counseling they want before the marriage is dissolved. This counseling is offered as a free service by the mental health providers working in concert with the courts as a method of guaranteeing that both spouses are in total agreement that the marriage is over both mentally and emotionally.
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