Divorce proceedings occur when one or both parties have a desire to end their marital relationship. The Superior Court will make decisions in these cases on the equitable division of the parties’ community property, the allocation of community debt, and will make provisions for the payment of spousal maintenance if appropriate. If the parties have children, the Court will also enter orders regarding legal decision making and parenting time, and determine the amount of child support which will be paid based on Arizona law.
Divorce Without Children
This video explains the procedures for filing for divorce if a couple has no children.
A legal separation is similar to dissolution of marriage, except that the parties remain legally married.
Visit our Forms and Form Kits page to view and download forms related to divorce proceedings.
Parent Education Classes
If you have been ordered to attend a Parent Education Class, please contact the Mediation Center at (928) 753-0795 for more information. Classes for you and your former spouse will be scheduled separately. This encourages an open exchange among participants and instructors regarding parenting and your divorce experience and helps you take full advantage of this opportunity.
Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce Proceedings
- What are the steps involved in filing a divorce?
If the party wishes to file their own divorce, they can pick up a packet from the Clerk's Office, Office Supply Store, or fill them out online. The party who is filing the divorce will need to fill out the forms contained in the packet. At this point the Party can sign the Domestic Relations Cover Sheet and the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The Petition for Dissolution of Marriage will need to be notarized. It can be notarized in the Clerk's Office at no charge.
The petitioning party will need to bring the original packet of forms plus two sets of complete copies of the forms. This does not include instructions.
The clerk at the counter will only file the documents necessary to start the divorce. They include: The Petition for Dissolution of Marriage; Domestics Relations Cover Sheet; Preliminary Injunction; Notice Regarding Creditors; and the Notice of Right to Convert Health Insurance. The Petitioner should also have a Summons and Preliminary Injunction (original plus two copies) for the clerk to issue.
Once the initial papers have been processed, the petitioning party will need to have the respondent served with one set of the copies. If the respondent is in agreement, he/she can sign the Acceptance of Service form contained in the packet either at the time that the divorce is filed or any time after the divorce proceedings have begun. If the responding party is not willing to sign the Acceptance of Service, the petitioner will need to make arrangements with a Process Server or the Sheriff's Office to have the papers served.
The respondent has 20 days to file a response to the divorce action (30 days if out-of-state), exclusive of the date the person was served. If the respondent does not file a written response contesting the divorce, the petitioner will need to file the Application and Affidavit for Entry of Default at the Clerk's office after 24 days (if in state) or 34 days (if out-of-state) of service upon the respondent.
- How much does it cost to file for a divorce?
- If I cannot afford to pay the fees, can I have my fees deferred or waived?
Yes, you can. You must fill out an Application for Deferral of Filing Fee.
- Do both parties have to sign the divorce papers?
No, only the Petitioner will need to sign the papers with the exception of the Acceptance of Service. The respondent can sign the Acceptance of Service at any time after the divorce has been filed with the Court. If the respondent refuses to sign the Acceptance of Service, you will need to hire a Process Server or the Sheriff's Office to serve the papers.
- I need to serve my spouse, but he/she is out-of-state. What do I do?
You can serve the papers on your spouse by Registered Mail. Only your spouse can sign the Green Receipt Card as proof of service. You will then need to file that Green Receipt Card along with an Affidavit of Service by registered mail with the Clerk's office.
- Is it necessary for the respondent to file a response?
No, it is not. If the respondent does not agree with information contained in the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, he/she will need to prepare a written response and file it with the Clerk's Office. The respondent is required to provide a copy of the response to the Petitioner or to the Petitioner's attorney.
- I have been married for a week. Can I file for an annulment?
We cannot answer your question on what the statutory grounds (qualifications) are for filing for an annulment in this state. You should obtain legal advice.
- I am filing for a divorce. I would like my maiden name back. What do I do?
There is a section on your Petition for Dissolution of Marriage that addresses this issue. Please refer back to your instructions that came with your packet. If you are the respondent and you wish to have your maiden name restored, the packet contains a form entitled "Request to Restore Maiden Name" that you can fill out and file with the Clerk's Office.
- What if I am already divorced and I wish to have my maiden name given back to me?
Once the divorce has become final and the issue of restoring your maiden name was not addressed, you will need to file for a name change with the court.
- I would like to change the name of my child and amend the birth certificate to reflect the new name. What do I do?
If you want to amend the birth certificate to reflect the father's last name and the parents were not married, you can file to establish paternity. If you want to legally change the name of a minor child, use the appropriate legal form and file them with the court.