What Should I Do If I Don’t Want a Divorce?
In Arizona, one party begins the divorce process by submitting a petition for dissolution of marriage to the court. The other party becomes the respondent. Many times, the decision to divorce may be a difficult one. Sometimes, one person wants to move ahead with a divorce, while the other person doesn’t. If you are not ready to divorce, you may wonder, what should I do if I don’t want a divorce? It is helpful to understand the Arizona divorce process before you take any action. Please note that this blog addresses only non-covenant marriages.
The Respondent in a Divorce
The party who files the divorce petition is called the petitioner, while the other party is called the respondent. As the respondent, you have some things you need to do as soon as you receive the paperwork. If you are not in agreement with the divorce, you should file a response to the petition. You must respond within 20 days if served within the State of Arizona, or 30 days if you were served while out of state.
60-Day Cooling Off Period
In Arizona, the law requires a 60-day cooling off period. This means that the divorce cannot be finalized until this 60-day period is over. The two-month period allows time for spouses to make sure that they want to go ahead with the divorce, and gives them time to start working out the details of the settlement terms.
Request a Conciliation Meeting from the Court
If a party does not agree to the divorce he or she can request a conciliation meeting. The meeting takes place as soon as possible within the cooling off period. The divorce is effectively placed on hold until the conciliation meeting takes place. A conciliation meeting is a counseling session that is completed with a professional therapist or counselor employed by the Court.
Moving Forward With the Divorce
If the conciliation meeting does not help the parties decide to remain together, the divorce will move forward. You must realize that you have done everything possible to save the relationship. As the divorce continues, you may need some additional counseling sessions to help you come to terms with the end of your marriage. Retain an experienced divorce attorney to assist you through the process, and make sure that your rights are protected.
Contact the divorce lawyers at Udall Shumway PLC to schedule a consultation 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 I Don’t Want a Divorce, or other family law issues, please feel free to contact Barry C. Dickerson at 480.461.5300, log on to udallshumway.com, 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.