The Most Popular Months To Get Divorced In Arizona
When Do Divorce Rates Increase In Arizona?
It’s hard to know when a married couple will get divorced, even if their marriage has been struggling for quite some time. No matter the circumstances, the divorce process doesn’t officially begin until one of the spouses files a petition for dissolution of marriage with the court. There are certain times of the year when these filing rates are higher. Here, our Arizona divorce team will look at these trends and delve into the reasons behind them. If you’re considering filing for divorce, our office offers free consultations to learn more about your rights and obligations under Arizona law. To schedule your free consultation, call our office at 480-448-9800.
For many families, the holidays are a contentious time. Multiple religions have major celebrations falling around November through the New Year. Festivities can draw families together, but that doesn’t necessarily mean happy times. The pressure of traveling, possibly with children, staying in a small unfamiliar space with relatives, and enduring family gatherings without a means of escape could be the last straw in an already-damaged marriage. The holidays can make it clear what someone is contributing to a relationship, both mentally and financially. But divorce filings caused by the holidays usually won’t happen on Christmas Eve or January 2nd. It may take one or both spouses a few more months to finalize the decision and prepare the divorce petition, meaning holiday divorce filings may not come until May or so. This provides the added benefit of delaying the stress of divorce for minor children until after school has closed for summer.
August is also a popular month to file for divorce. Generally, some families may be at odds after being cooped up together for several months. However, parents may still want their children to have fun summer experiences like pool days and barbecues before the divorce is filed- especially if a divorce likely means selling the family home and moving. This could also be enough time for the parents to finalize a parenting plan before the holidays roll around again.
While the bump in divorce filings in August is experienced nationwide, it’s not hard to imagine why this could apply even more so in Arizona. The simple reason is that it is unbearably hot outside for most of the summer months, especially in August. There is research that suggests that heat can induce anger and violence in communities. Essentially, when the heat rises, so do tempers. It isn’t unreasonable to guess that someone may experience increased anger due to extended periods of heat, which could contribute to a divorce filing.
Starting The Divorce Process
Many parents time their divorce filings to avoid negative impact on their children. But the filing will need to be properly planned to avoid interference with family events. A divorce won’t be granted instantly, and proceedings could last for months or years if the spouses differ vastly in divorce goals or are unwilling to compromise.
The fastest way to get divorced in Arizona is through a consent decree. This is an agreement that the spouses reach outside of a courtroom. It must address property division and whether or not there will be spousal maintenance after the divorce, as well as child support and child custody if the couple shares minor children. This is the only way that the spouses can guarantee that they will decide every aspect of the divorce, rather than leaving final authority on contested issues up to the judge. This also helps keep the divorce more private, because public divorce proceedings may be interesting to nosy peers- and creditors. Even if you and your spouse plan on divorcing through a consent decree, mistakes in the process could cause unnecessary delays and costs. You can have a Phoenix divorce lawyer review your consent decree for potential issues that could arise in your divorce finalization.
Mandatory Waiting Period
A divorce, by law, won’t be granted instantly in the state of Arizona. First of all, at least one of the spouses must have lived in Arizona for at least 90 days before filing for divorce in an Arizona courthouse. A.R.S. § 25-329 also sets forth a mandatory waiting period of 60 days before a divorce filed in Arizona can be finalized. Therefore, spouses filing for divorce after the holidays or who don’t want to interfere with holidays or children’s school schedules should keep this mandatory waiting period in mind.
Not all couples can reach an agreement and divorce using the consent decree process. Even though the trial is expensive, endless negotiations conducted at two attorneys’ hourly rates could add up quite quickly. If divorce settlement talks have reached an impasse, the spouses should consider mediation. Mediation allows a neutral third party to guide the spouses through conversations about unresolved divorce issues and try to find creative solutions. Participants can walk away feeling like they have an outcome they’re satisfied with, rather than potentially one or both parents feeling cheated by the process when final decisions are made by the judge. Talk to your attorney about the pros and cons if you are intimidated by the high costs of hiring a mediator.
One of the fastest ways to get divorced is through divorce by default. However, not everyone will qualify to divorce through the default process. When the petitioner files their divorce petition with the court and serves it upon the respondent, the respondent will have 20 days to respond to that petition if they reside in Arizona. The respondent will have an additional 30 days to file their response if they live outside of the state of Arizona. If your spouse is served with the divorce papers and fails to respond within the applicable time limit, you can initiate the default process. Sometimes, the respondent may not respond on purpose because they agree with everything the petitioner requested.
Once the appropriate time frame has passed without a response, you will file an Application and Affidavit of Default with the court in which you filed your divorce petition. Once the respondent has been served or mailed a copy of these papers, the court will allow an additional 10-day grace period to file their response. If there has still been no response at this time, the judge will hold a default hearing with the petitioner. The judge will grant what the petitioner requested for the most part but also has the authority to make some changes. You can find out about what else is necessary for the default divorce process here.
Our Arizona Divorce Team Can Help You Achieve a Positive Outcome for Your Family Law Situation
Filing when the Arizona family courts are less busy could be just one of countless factors that impact your decisions regarding a divorce. That’s why you should consider hiring an experienced divorce lawyer to help you navigate all of the complexities that come with getting divorced in Arizona. Our team in AZ Family Law Lawyers can help you make tough decisions and persistently negotiate to reduce how much of your case must be completed before a judge. We offer fair prices with payment plans that make quality legal representation more accessible for Arizona families. To learn more, contact us by calling 480-448-9800.
1731 West Baseline Rd., Suite #101
Mesa, AZ 85202
Office: (480) 448-9800
20325 N 51st Avenue Suite #134, Building 5
Glendale, AZ 85308
Office: (602) 509-0955
2 East Congress St., Suite #900-6A
Tucson, AZ 85701
Office: (520) 441-1450
12725 W. Indian School Rd., Ste E, #101
Avondale, AZ 85392
Office: (623) 399-4222
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