Divorce is more than a legal process. It is an emotional and practical journey. The official divorce process in Mesa begins when one party files for the dissolution of their marriage and pays the filing fee. This is known as the divorce petition. After that, the petition is served on the other party, who accepts service or is served by a process server. Once the initial divorce papers are served, a divorce could resolve in one of three ways.
If a party does not file a response to the initial paperwork, a divorce could be granted via default. If the other spouse does respond, the couple could eventually resolve their divorce by an agreement. The couple could also resolve their marital issues in front of a judge by presenting evidence and going to court. They may do some combination of the last two options where they resolve some issues via agreement while others are brought before a judge to decide.
We are familiar with the many ways that this emotional, legal process can be delayed or unexpectedly lengthened. One of our compassionate and well-versed lawyers can help you understand complicating factors in the Mesa divorce process.
Length of a Case
The length of divorce case depends on the presiding judge, the court, issues specific to the case, and how quickly the parties resolve their marital issues. There is a minimum waiting period of 60 days between when someone files and when a judge signs the paperwork to make the couple officially divorced.
Some cases move faster while others move slower. The maximum amount of time could be up to two years, depending on the judge and courtroom. The complexity of the facts and the number of issues the couple agrees on can affect the amount of time it takes for a couple to get divorced.
For example, the value of the property being divided, potential spousal maintenance, and child support can all be very controversial and are likely to complicate the Mesa divorce process. If the spouses ask for a deviation of child support or their marital issues are complicated, they may need to litigate, and their divorce would take longer and cost more.
Most importantly is whether there is an agreement between the parties. When spouses work together and come to an agreement independently or with the assistance of lawyers and mediators, the divorce process is faster and cheaper.
Factors That Can Complicate the Divorce Process
The law stipulates that anything two people create or incur during their marriage, such as children, property, debts, and deals between third parties, is subject to being resolved during their divorce. This can be complicated in situations where the couple was living and working together for many years and accumulating assets, debts, and possessions.
The value of a divorce could be millions of dollars for many couples. It is a massive transaction that includes equity in the home, the sum of retirement accounts, the value of child support over time, and the issues that are specific to their children and family.
The process of breaking up and undoing an entire marriage is much more involved and complicated than many people realize. Trying to untangle decades in a way that is fair to both parties who are in the midst of substantial emotional turmoil can be difficult. It is not an easy process. Fortunately, we are familiar with the potentially complicating factors in the Mesa divorce process and can help you avoid making any mistakes along the way.
Contested Marital Issues
In Mesa, there is no difference in the process between a contested and uncontested divorce. In other states, a person can file certain documents that indicate a divorce is uncontested versus contested, but that is not the case in Arizona. Regardless of whether a divorce is contested or not, the process is the same, but it can take longer and more deliberation to resolve.
An issue is considered contested when the parties can’t agree on it. When a couple is getting divorced, they have a number of issues that have to be resolved like property allocation, debt division, child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance. If the parties agree on these issues, then their divorce is uncontested. If they disagree on the outcome of these issues, they would have a contested divorce.
A contested marriage dissolution requires very thorough discovery and the advice and counsel of an experienced attorney. Our team is dedicated to helping you resolve your contested marital issues and can help you anticipate complicating factors in the Mesa divorce process, so call us today.