Arizona Info

Arizona Divorce Start Your Divorce Find Professionals Arizona Articles Divorce Facts Divorce Grounds Residency Divorce Laws Mediation/Counseling Divorce Process Legal Separation Annulments Property Division Alimony Child Custody Child Support Divorce Forms Process Service Grandparent Rights Forum Arizona Products Divorce by County

Arizona Articles

Agreements Custody & Visitation Child Support Counseling Divorce/General Domestic Abuse Financial Planning Property Division Spousal Support SEE ALL

Info Categories

Contemplating Divorce Children & Divorce Divorce, Dollars & Debt Divorce Laws Divorce Process Divorce Negotiation SEE ALL

More Information

Articles Checklists Research Center Cases of Interest Dictionary Encyclopedia Encyclopedia (pop-up) Blogs

For Professionals

Advertise With Us Free Network Page Join Our Network Submit Articles Sign In

Network Sites

Arizona Divorce Support Arizona Divorce Online

Arizona Divorce and Family Law Q & A
Q: How long does a typical Arizona divorce take?

A: In Arizona family law, an uncontested divorce, one in which the parties agree on all aspects of the divorce, usually takes about 90 to 120 days. Arizona has a 60-day waiting period following the filing and service of the initial dissolution documents. After the 60 days, the court, either pursuant to a hearing or upon submission, must sign the final dissolution documents. This is the reason for the additional time. If the dissolution is contested, it usually takes substantially longer, typically between six and eighteen months; however, some divorces take years.

Q: If one spouse moves to another state with the children, which state has the authority to rule on custody and visitation issues?

A: This is a common issue in divorce cases. Once a divorce has been filed and served, a court order called a Preliminary Injunction goes into effect. Among other things, this Injunction states that neither party may remove the children from Arizona without permission. However, if the children are removed prior to the divorce being filed, a number of factors come into play. Usually the strongest factor is the length of time that the children have resided in each place. Each situation is different, however.

Q: If the divorce isn't going to be final for months or more, are there any rules until then?

A: Yes. First, many rules go into effect via the Preliminary Injunction, as described above. This Preliminary Injunction is part of every properly filed divorce action in Arizona. Second, many parties to a divorce want more specific rules in place until the divorce becomes final. These case-specific rules are handed down by the court after one or both parties request temporary orders. A request for temporary orders may require a brief court hearing if the parties cannot agree. These temporary orders may address such issues as child support, custody, parental access, spousal maintenance (alimony), payment of debts, use of the marital residence and other issues. The temporary orders are only valid until the court finalizes the divorce.

Q: Can a parent move with the common children to another state after the divorce is final?

A: Under Arizona family law, it is possible that a parent with sole custody or one who is designated the primary physical custodian may be permitted to move from the state, as long as the reasons for moving are ones designated as proper according to divorce law. Some of these reasons include employment-related changes of the parent or the parent's new spouse, as well as health and safety considerations.

Q: May a parent with sole custody deny the other parent access to the child's school and medical records?

A: No, unless the court has issued its Order denying the access. In fact, under Arizona divorce law, an entity who does not comply with a parent's reasonable request for records must reimburse the requesting parent for court costs and attorney fees that parent incurs in forcing compliance with this family law. In other words, a non-custodial parent may request a child's records directly from a school or medical facility, as long as the request is done reasonably, and the records must be provided.

Q: Can't I just use a paralegal?

A: If your divorce is complex, contested or involves children, we don't recommend it. And we don't consider it a good idea to let a paralegal file the initial documents and then retain an divorce attorney later. It's preferable to let an attorney guide your divorce from the beginning. Of course, independent paralegal firms might disagree with our opinion.

Q: Any chance that my spouse will have to pay for my attorney's fees and court costs?

A: Yes. Under Arizona divorce law, the court may grant a party's request for attorney's fees after considering two factors: (1) the parties' financial resources, and (2) the reasonableness of the positions each party has taken throughout the proceedings. This means that a wealthy spouse may end up paying for a less well to do spouse's attorney fees. Likewise, a party who has been unreasonable has probably delayed the final resolution of the case, caused the other party to incur unnecessary fees and wasted the court's time. The court may use one party's unreasonable position, therefore, to justify an award of attorney's fees. There are no guarantees that a particular judge will award fees and costs, as this is a discretionary decision.

Q: Does Arizona recognize common law marriages?

A: No, although it may recognize a common law marriage from another state.


Wilcox & Wilcox, P.C. and its principles, agents or representatives, make no guarantees or representations as to the accuracy or currency of any information herein contained. Providing this brochure does not establish an attorney-client relationship. To create such relationship, both the attorney and potential client must sign a written fee agreement. This information is meant only as general information, may not apply to your case specifically and is not meant to be relied upon for purposes of taking legal action. You should contact an attorney in person for further and specific information. Our family law attorneys are licensed in Arizona only.

Was this helpful? Like our site & let us know.

Related Articles

Start Arizona Divorce Start Your Arizona Online Divorce Today
Easy, Fast and Affordable with a 100% Guarantee.
Arizona Divorce Find Arizona Divorce Professionals in Your Area:
Join the Network
Arizona Divorce Products, Services and Solutions Arizona Divorce Products, Services and Solutions
Arizona Divorce Resources to Help You Through the Process.
Online Parenting Class Arizona Mandatory Online Parenting Class
Easy and convenient - complete at your own pace online.
Divorce and Custody Books Discount Divorce Bookstore
Over 100 Titles of the Best Books on Divorce & Custody.
Divorce Downloads Divorce Download Center
Instantly Download, Books, Manuals, & Forms.
Divorce Worksheet Free Arizona Divorce Worksheet & Separation Agreement
Your Guide to Get Organized and Put Everything in Writing.
Arizona does not consider marital misconduct when determining property division.
Divorce Lawyers & Mediators

Find Professionals

Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Enter Your Zip Code:


Start Your Divorce File for an Arizona Divorce


Settle Your Divorce Negotiate Your Arizona Divorce


Support Forum Arizona Support Forum

Guarantee Official PayPal Seal Facebook Twitter Versign Secure Site