divorce papers are served, a timely response must be filed. The spouses will then
work to settle all of their disputes. This can be done through divorce
mediation or other mutually agreed upon setting that doesn’t involve
Arizona divorce litigation. In contested divorce cases, the process is
similar, except that it typically leads to litigation that involves discovery
requests, requests for orders and the potential for a trial.
The typical Divorce Process goes a little something like this:
A Response to the Divorce Petition
The Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure
Settlement Communications Begin
The Final Declaration of Disclosure
The Final Divorce Decree
After the divorce papers are served, a number of forms will need to be
completed. This is referred to as the preliminary declaration of disclosure.
Most importantly, you’ll need to complete the Affidavit of Financial
Information (outlining all income and expenses) and the schedule of assets
and debts. This portion of the divorce process is the first chance divorcing
parties have to disclose what they understand to be community and/or separate
property as well as outline their income and expenses. The very worst
thing one could possibly do during the divorce process is to misrepresent
or lie on the income and expense declaration. It will not end well and
you could be sanctioned by the court.
When the divorce is uncontested, the settlement discussions tend to start
and move forward quickly. It’s best for the preliminary declaration
of disclosure to be completed in full and exchanged before the settlement
discussions begin in order for everyone to be working with the same information.
The final declaration of disclosure should be exchanged prior to when
the final divorce decree is finalized and signed. Some divorcing parties
will waive the final declaration of disclosure. Whether or not following
this route is a good idea would require a more in depth discussion of
your situation and the details related to your divorce.
Once the final decree is signed by the judge, the two parties are officially
divorced. The final divorce decree will typically include all the information
pertaining to the divorce including: child custody (legal decision making)
and child support, spousal maintenance, property and debt division, etc.
If you have more questions about the divorce process and what it will mean
to have divorce papers served or if you have recently been served divorce
papers, contact the Arizona divorce attorneys at Arizona Family Law Attorneys.