The legal name for a divorce is a dissolution. Arizona is a no-fault state; i.e., neither party’s conduct is legal grounds for dissolution. The most common basis for dissolution is when the marriage is “irretrievably broken,” or beyond reconciliation.
If you are considering dissolving your marriage, you should consult a seasoned Phoenix divorce lawyer such as Ronald V. Thomas. Mr. Thomas will aid you in understanding the nuances of family law, such as community property, child support and/or custody, and spousal maintenance.
UNDERSTANDING THE DISSOLUTION PROCESS
Filing the Summons and Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the court initiates the dissolution. The filing party is the “Petitioner” and the other party is the “Respondent.” The type of Petition filed depends on whether the parties have children.
Once those documents are filed, they must be formally delivered, or “served,” to Respondent. Respondent is required to file with the court and serve on Petitioner, within a specified time, a response to the Petition.
If Respondent files a response, the court may require the parties to attend an Early Resolution Management Conference to determine whether they agree on any issues. If the parties cannot agree, the court will set a trial date. The dissolution then enters the discovery process, which includes depositions, written questions called interrogatories, and document production. During this phase, the parties gather evidence regarding outstanding issues, such as support and asset and debt division.
The length of time to finalize a dissolution depends on whether the parties agree on the matters at issue. If the parties agree, the dissolution becomes final sooner; if they do not, the dissolution takes longer to finalize.
If Respondent fails to file a response, Petitioner may ask the court to enter Respondent’s default, which means the court will decide the case without Respondent’s participation.
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RETAINING A PHOENIX DIVORCE ATTORNEY
Ending a marriage can be profoundly emotional. Mr. Thomas will provide you with the representation and support you need to successfully navigate through the legal process to resolve highly personal issues, such as the division of debts, property, child custody/support, and/or spousal maintenance.
As an experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer, Mr. Thomas provides every client with the utmost attention, commitment, and personal care to achieve a successful result to their dissolution.