Filing for divorce, or dissolution of marriage as it is called in Arizona, can be an emotional and overwhelming task. The goal of the Berkshire Law Office is to help you through this emotional and stressful time and to achieve the most favorable result for you and your family.

Arizona has one of the quicker divorce (dissolution) processes in the country. The sole time limitation in Arizona for a divorce is a 60-day waiting period after the service of the divorce petition. However, in Maricopa County, the average divorce takes between 8-10 months, if the matter is contested and requires a trial. Settlement is clearly the more cost effective and timely process and can significantly reduce the time period from start to finish for your case. While we are always ready and willing to prepare for trial, the Berkshire Law Office prefers mediation or other avenues to reduce stress and prevent conflict in your case. But don’t worry if litigation is required as The attorneys at the Berkshire Law Office have handled hundreds of contested hearings in Family Court.

Types of Divorce Proceedings:

· Uncontested: A divorce is considered uncontested if the parties can agree on major issues such as property division, spousal and child support, and if it is unlikely that a spouse will file papers in court disagreeing with the divorce request.

· Contested: A divorce is considered contested if the parties cannot agree on the issues and need the court to help them reach a resolution. Complex child custody issues, high financial stakes, and technical legal procedures are the marks of contested divorces and make experienced counsel necessary.

· No-Fault Divorce: Either spouse can decide to end the marriage, and the other spouse, even if he or she does not want to get a divorce, cannot stop the process by refusing to participate in the case. If a spouse does not participate in the divorce case, the other spouse will still be able to get a default judgment and the divorce will go through.

· Arbitration/Mediation: An arbitration or mediation with an attorney can prevent extensive litigation and trial.


To file for divorce in Arizona, you must meet the following requirements:

Covenant Marriage

If you are the petitioner, meaning you file the initial documents with the court, the process of dissolution begins with the filing of the Petition for Dissolution and service of those documents upon the other party. The Petition provides the court with pertinent information to the case, such as the names of the parties, the length of the marriage, the names of any minor children, a statement of the issues, and finally, the petitioner’s position on the issues of the case. A.R.S § 25-314.

If you are the Respondent, meaning your spouse filed the initial paperwork, you have 20 days (30 if out of state) to file a Response to the Petition. AZ ST RFLP Rule 32.

In Arizona a “Preliminary Injunction” under A.R.S. § 25-315 is automatically entered when the petition is filed. This restraining order prohibits both spouses from leaving the state with their child, selling off assets or spending community or joint property in a reckless manner until the date of the final dissolution.

Once the initial documents have been filed, the Berkshire Law Office will begin the discovery process. Discovery is the term used to define the information-gathering phase of the matter. This process ensures that both you and your spouse have access to the same information.

Arizona law requires that parties to a divorce action automatically disclose certain items. AZ ST RFLP Rule 49. They include:

There are several forms of discovery available during a divorce proceeding:

A party can use as few or as many of these discovery tools during the course of the matter. The Berkshire Law Office can help you decide which forms of discovery will be most beneficial and cost effective to your case.

If settlement is not reached early the Court will set a Resolution Management Conference. This is a brief hearing in front of a judge. At the hearing, the judge will attempt to assist the parties in settlement, or set a trial date for the case. AZ ST RFLP Rule 47.