Many Couples  Have Asked, What is a No Fault Divorce in Arizona?

Years ago, couples who wanted to part ways needed to have a substantial reason (for example, adultery). This meant that one party usually had to place blame on the other in order to end the marriage. These reasons are also called grounds for divorce.  Today, most people get divorced without having to place blame on either party. This is because Arizona is a “no-fault divorce” state. But, what is a no fault divorce in Arizona? Old fault rules only apply when the parties have entered into a covenant marriage. Covenant marriages account for a very small number of marriages in Arizona.

How the Divorce Procedure Works

The process begins when one party files a petition for dissolution of marriage. The petition requires you to indicate the reason for the divorce. The majority of divorces in Arizona are filed as no-fault. This means that the petition alleges only that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Once filed, the other party is served with the petition and has a 20-day period to respond (unless that party is served out of state in which case the response time is 30 days). There is an automatic 60-day cooling off period that begins upon service as well.

When Parties Agree to the Divorce

In a simple divorce case, both parties are in agreement. They both want to end the marriage. Couples must then review the settlement terms of the divorce, and come to an agreement regarding them. These include the distribution of assets, assignment of debts, child custody issues, parenting plans, child support, and spousal maintenance. If couples can agree to the major terms of the divorce, the resolution will be relatively easy. If there is not a comprehensive agreement, the Court will determine the final resolution to any matters not agreed upon.

How Long Does a No-Fault Divorce Take?

A simple, no-fault divorce may be completed in just more than two months. The divorce can proceed immediately following the 60-day waiting period. In situations where couples are in agreement, the judge will usually approve the request. Many people think they can handle a no-fault divorce on their own, without an attorney. However, it is usually advisable to get help from a qualified lawyer. Your attorney will assist in the filing process and will ensure that your rights are protected.

If you have made the decision to end your marriage, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Call the divorce attorneys at Udall Shumway PLC to discuss your case.


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 What is a No Fault Divorce in Arizona, or other family law issues, please feel free to contact Barry C. Dickerson 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.