Here’s What to Expect After Divorce Papers Have Been Served

When a couple decides to end their marriage the first step is to file for divorce. One party must file a petition for dissolution of marriage. The papers are then served on the other party. It is important to understand what to expect after divorce papers have been served. In Arizona, you have a limited time to file a response. It is helpful to seek guidance from a qualified divorce attorney before submitting your response.

First Review the Divorce Papers

When you receive a petition for dissolution of marriage you must first read through the papers completely to ensure that you understand them. In Arizona, couples can get a divorce based on the belief that the marriage is irretrievably broken. If you do not agree with the divorce you may request a conciliation meeting. The meeting request puts the divorce on hold for up to 60 days while you and your spouse attend a court-appointed counseling meeting.

File a Response to the Petition

In Arizona, you must file a response to divorce papers within 20 days of receipt if you were served in the state. Those who were served out of state have 30 days to respond. If you fail to respond within the allotted time period, your spouse may request a default divorce. It is in your best interest to file the response on time. Do not ignore the request or you could end up losing some of your control of the situation.

Wait for the Required Cooling Off Period

In Arizona, the law requires divorcing couples to wait for a period of 60 days after filing for divorce before a dissolution can be made final. This gives parties the opportunity to make sure that they want to end their marriage. It also provides time for the couple to live apart and begin making decisions about the divorce settlement arrangements. If you are in need of spousal support, child support, health insurance, or other requirements during the separation period you may request a temporary order.

Resolving Important Divorce Settlement Terms

There are a number of issues that need to be decided during the divorce process. It is best, when possible, to try to work with your spouse to come to a mutual agreement regarding the major settlement terms. These include such things as distribution of assets, assignment of debt, child visitation and spousal maintenance. If you fail to resolve these issues the judge will have to make these decisions.

If you have been served with divorce papers you need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Call the experienced lawyers at Udall Shumway PLC for a consultation.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding After Divorce Papers Have Been Served, or any other family law issue, please feel free to contact Steven H. Everts at 480.461.5300, log on to, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.