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Divorce timeline involves several steps

Making the decision to get divorced is the first step in dissolving a marriage in Arizona. Several other steps follow this decision. Although a divorce proceeding can be unpredictable, knowing what to expect can help to make dealing with unpleasant surprises a little easier.

The divorce starts off with the creation of a divorce petition by one spouse's lawyer. This document explains why the spouse wants to get divorced and what his or her wishes are regarding the couple's finances and custody of the children, for example. Next, this petition is filed with the court.

After the petition is filed, the court ensures that it is properly served on the spouse of the person making the petition. The spouse can then offer a response to the petition, stating whether he or she agrees with the complaint and how he or she would like to handle the divorce decisions. If the spouse who has been served does not answer the complaint, the court will assume that this party agrees with the petition's terms.

Next, the couple share information and can proceed with trying to resolve disputes regarding asset division and child custody -- for instance, through a process such as mediation. If they cannot do this, they must go to trial, where the judge will decide these unresolved issues. An attorney in Arizona can offer assertive representation during mediation or at trial, depending on the nature of the divorce case. The attorney's ultimate goal is to make sure that the spouse's wishes are communicated and rights protected during the entire divorce proceeding.

Source: findlaw.com, "A Divorce Timeline", Accessed on June 21, 2017

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