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The Divorce Papers are Served...What's Next?

The Divorce Papers are Served...What's Next?

Once the 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:

Divorce Papers

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.


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