ARIZONA DIVORCE MADE EASY. DOCUMENTS DONE RIGHT!
ARIZONA 3STEPDIVORCE TM - KEEPING YOUR UNCONTESTED DIVORCE SIMPLE
This easy to use online divorce is a "do it yourself (without a lawyer)" solution for any uncontested divorce (with or without children) that will be filed in the state of Arizona. An uncontested divorce is one in which you and your spouse are in agreement and eliminates the stress and expense of settling your divorce in court.
With 3StepDivorce™ you can complete and print your Arizona divorce papers (including a marital settlement agreement) instantly. Then, follow our step-by-step filing for divorce in AZ procedures to file your paperwork in a timely, professional, and hassle free fashion. The online software is designed to give you full control of your divorce and also avoids the use of third party data entry, thus helping protect your personal information and privacy. If you're not ready to file for divorce, learn more about getting your Separation Agreement or learn more about the basics of divorce in Arizona .
Online Divorce FAQ: Arizona
Filing for divorce can seem overwhelming. Like starting almost any other legal proceeding, it takes finding the right forms, filling out the forms properly, and understanding the court’s requirements for the next steps you’ll need to take.
Traditionally, most people have hired a lawyer to take care of all the legal matters in their divorce. But more and more couples are turning to a much cheaper option that’s still easier than figuring out everything on their own: filing for divorce online.
If you want to know more, read on for answers to some of the most common questions about online divorce in Arizona.
How Does Online Divorce Work in Arizona?
Arizona 3StepDivorce™ takes care of the divorce paperwork for you. Once you sign up for the service, you’ll answer some questions about your situation. Based on your responses to the questionnaire, Arizona 3StepDivorce™ will fill out the forms the state requires to start the divorce process, along with instructions for adding any further information that’s needed. You’ll be able to print out the forms yourself immediately or, if you prefer, get hard copies by mail.
Can I File for Divorce in Arizona?
Arizona has two basic requirements for divorce in the state: a residency requirement, and a legally recognized reason for ending your marriage. Also, the judge won’t grant a divorce unless neither spouse has requested that the couple go through Arizona’s conciliation court process, or they’ve gone through the process and still aren’t reconciled. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 25-312(2), 25-381.09 (2022).)
What Are the Residency Requirements for Divorce in Arizona?
To get an Arizona divorce, you or your spouse must have lived in the state (or been stationed there as part of military service) for the 90-day period just before you file your divorce papers. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 25-312(1) (2022).)
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Arizona?
For the vast majority of marriages in Arizona, there is only one legally recognized reason (or ground) for divorce: that the marriage is “irretrievably broken,” which basically means there’s no reasonable hope of fixing it. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 25-312(2) (2022).)
However, there are different grounds for divorce when you have a “covenant marriage.” This type of marriage—which is rare and unique to Arizona—has special requirements when you’re getting married (including premarital counseling) and when you’re divorcing. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 25-901, 25-903 (2022).)
Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Divorce in Arizona?
Many Arizona residents are finding that they can file for divorce and get through the process without the expense of hiring a lawyer if they’re filing for an “ uncontested divorce ” in the state. That means that they’ve agreed with each other about all of the legal issues in their divorce, including:
- how to divide their property and debts
- alimony (called “maintenance” in Arizona), and
- child custody, visitation, and child support (if they have minor children).
If you still have disagreements with your spouse about these or any other issues involved in ending your marriage, you’ll have to file for a traditional, contested divorce. Because that will involve legal battles and presenting evidence and arguments at court hearings, it would be risky to pursue a contested divorce without a lawyer to navigate the process for you—especially if your spouse has an attorney.
Can I Use Arizona 3StepDivorce™ in My Situation?
You may use Arizona 3StepDivorce™ as long as you:
- meet the state’s residency requirement
- agree with your spouse that your marriage is irretrievably broken
- do not have a covenant marriage (discussed above), and
- have an uncontested divorce.
You’ll need to have a written marital settlement agreement (known as a “separation agreement” in Arizona), signed by both you and your spouse, that covers all of the issues in your divorce. Arizona 3StepDivorce™ will guide you through the process of creating this agreement, based on your answers to the questionnaire.
Arizona 3StepDivorce™ can also help if you aren’t ready to file for divorce, but you want a separation agreement with your spouse. For instance, you might want to work out arrangements for support, custody of your children, who has to move out of the family home, and how to take care of the bills while you’re separated but still legally married.
What If My Spouse and I Can’t Agree on the Issues in Our Divorce?
Just because you haven’t been able to agree with your spouse about everything in your divorce, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go through an expensive and time-consuming contested divorce. You could try divorce mediation. If you’re able to resolve your disagreements with the mediator’s help, you can then use Arizona 3StepDivorce™ to prepare the written settlement agreement, along with the other divorce paperwork.
Can I Get an Online Divorce in Arizona If I Have Children?
Generally, you can use Arizona 3StepDivorce™ even when you have minor children with your spouse, as long as you agree on all of the issues related to your kids, including legal and physical custody, a parenting (visitation) schedule, child support, health and dental insurance, and tax deductions. Arizona 3StepDivorce™ will allow you to address these issues in your settlement agreement. We provide a standard parenting schedule, but you’ll have an option of customizing the schedule to meet your individual needs.
However, you won’t be able to address custody-related issues with Arizona 3StepDivorce™ if the affected child or children don’t meet the “home state” requirement. Usually, that means the child must have lived in Arizona with a parent (or a parent figure) during the entire six-month period before you file for divorce (or since birth if the child is younger than six months old). If you don’t meet the six-month rule, you should speak with an attorney to find out whether you might qualify for one of the complicated exceptions to this rule. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 25-1002(7), 25-1031 (2022).)
How Will My Online Divorce in Arizona Deal With Child Support?
In Arizona, both parents have an obligation to support their children. And like all states, Arizona has child support guidelines for calculating how much support the parents should pay, based largely on their incomes and custody arrangements.
3StepDivorce™ provides the Arizona Child Support Guideline Worksheets for calculating the state's guideline level of support. You and your spouse may agree to an amount of child support that differs from the guideline amount, but the judge will need to review and approve your agreement. Arizona law requires that any time the amount of child support (including an amount that the spouses agree on) than what it would be under the guidelines, the judge must find that strict application of the guidelines would be “inappropriate or unjust” under the circumstances.The judge must also consider the child’s best interests when reviewing the amount of support. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 25-320 (2022).)
In your settlement agreement, you and your spouse may include child support provisions that aren’t legally required, such as a parent’s contributions to private school tuition or the cost of a child’s college education. You may also agree on some specific questions like which parent will claim the children as dependents on tax returns.
Will We Be Able to Change the Amount of Child Support After Divorce?
After your divorce in Arizona is final, you (or your spouse) may request a change in the amount of child support, but you’ll need to show that there has been a substantial and continuing change in your circumstances. The judge will review your request based on the same legal requirements for an original child support order. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 25-503 (2022).)
If you want to save the time and expense of a court battle over a request to modify child support, you and your spouse may agree to a modification on your own. However, a judge will have to approve your agreement in order for it to be part of a new court order.
You may submit a request for a review of your current child support order from Child Support Services (part of the Arizona Department of Economic Security). If you qualify for a modification based on your changed circumstances, the agency will handle the request with the court.
How Will Online Divorce Handle Property and Debts From Our Marriage?
When you fill out your questionnaire for Arizona 3StepDivorce™, you’ll answer a series of questions about your separate and marital property and debts, including how you’ll divide your marital property and allocate responsibility for payment of the marital debts.
What About the Family Home?
If you own a home with your spouse, your agreement can spell out what will happen to it when you get divorced. Here again, the questionnaire will include a few questions about the property and how you’ve chosen to deal with it, such as:
- selling the house and splitting the proceeds
- transferring ownership to one spouse, with the other spouse receiving money or other assets in exchange for that spouse’s share, or
- continuing to own the property together while allowing one spouse to stay in the house for a period of time (and, if so, how you’ll handle paying the mortgage and other ongoing costs).
What About Retirement Accounts?
In your Arizona 3StepDivorce™, you may also agree on whether and how you’ll divide any retirement accounts that you and your spouse have, including 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and defined-benefit pensions.
If you started contributing to the retirement plan before you were married, you’ll start by figuring out how much of its current value is marital property and how much is your separate property. There are experts and firms that will do this for you (for a fee, of course). The service is usually known as a pension appraisal or valuation. You’ll almost always need this kind of expert help when you’re dealing with a defined-benefit pension.
Once you know the marital value of your work-related retirement accounts, the easiest way to handle the division of the assets is not to split them but to transfer other assets as an offset. Here’s how that works: Say you have a 401(k) through your job, and the marital portion of the account is worth $100,000. If you and your spouse agree to divide that portion down the middle, and you have other marital assets to divide (such as a regular savings account), your spouse could receive an extra $50,000 from those assets while you keep the entire 401(k). That way, you don’t have to hire another expert to prepare the kind of special order that’s needed to tell the 401(k) administrator how to divide the account.
The rules are different for IRAs. You may simply agree to have your spouse’s share transferred to another IRA account in that spouse’s name. (You’ll have to submit a special form to the bank, along with a copy of your divorce decree.)
Can I Get Alimony With an Online Divorce in Arizona?
You and your spouse may waive any right to maintenance (alimony) in your Arizona divorce, or you may agree on the specifics of alimony payments: who will pay, how much, and for how long. Your agreement may also state whether a court could modify alimony at any time in the future, and it could cover related issues like health insurance and life insurance.
How Do I File My Divorce Papers in Arizona?
When you get your completed forms with Arizona 3StepDivorce™, your next step will be to file the paperwork with the Superior Court Clerk in the county where you live. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 12-401(13) (2022).)
Some counties in Arizona have their own different procedures when filing for an uncontested divorce, so you should check in advance with your local court clerk’s office for any special filing instructions. For instance, Maricopa County uses a procedure for uncontested divorce called “summary consent decree for divorce” that allows you and your spouse to file a divorce petition together and skip some of the steps in the normal process.
How Much Is Arizona’s Filing Fee for Divorce?
Courts charge a fee for filing any legal papers, including for divorce. In Arizona, the filing fees are different from county to county. The divorce filing fee in Maricopa County was $349 as of 2022 (though it’s always subject to change). Several other counties charge less. Check ahead of time to find out how much the fee is in your county (usually listed on the court clerk’s website) and what methods of payment are accepted.
What If I Can’t Afford to Pay the Divorce Filing Fee?
If you aren’t able to pay the filing fee, you may apply for a waiver or deferral. Depending on your financial circumstances, the court may postpone payment, establish a payment plan, or waive the fees completely.
How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Arizona?
In Arizona, you may get your final divorce without a hearing if you’ve filed a consent decree (which includes the provisions in your separation agreement), but the judge won’t sign your divorce judgment and consent decree until more than 60 days after you filed a joint divorce petition or served your spouse with a regular petition. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 25-329, Ariz. Rules Fam. Law Proc., rule 45 (2022).)
Your divorce could take longer than 60 days, depending on several circumstances including:
- the uncontested divorce procedures in your county (for instance, some counties use a default procedure for uncontested divorces, which would require adding another 20-30 days to the 60-day waiting period)
- how busy the court is in your county, and the availability of a judge to review your paperwork, and
- whether there are any problems with your paperwork and eligibility for a consent decree.
How Can I Get More Help With Arizona Online Divorce?
Arizona 3StepDivorce™ provides unlimited, live, person-to-person support for customers. If you have any questions about how uncontested divorce works, call our Arizona Divorce Online Help Center at (888) 665-6782 (toll free), Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm (Pacific Time).
Please keep in mind that we are not lawyers and so cannot give out legal advice. If you have questions about Arizona law or need legal advice, we recommend that you contact an experienced family law attorney in your area.