Contested Divorces in Arizona
Arizona allows for both contested and uncontested divorces. In contested divorces, one or more issues remain unresolved between the spouses, inhibiting the finalization of the divorce. Contested divorces are often contentious and require multiple court hearings before a judge in order to decide upon the final terms of the divorce.
Contested divorces can vary widely in their completion timeline. Particularly uncooperative spouses may continue finding new issues to contest or bring up throughout the proceedings that require additional court hearings. Such divorces can easily last more than a year before they are finalized.
Typically, each spouse, through their divorce attorney, endeavors to come to a final agreement through mediation. However, contested divorces that are unable to come to terms through this avenue will end up in trial at divorce court. Divorces that go to trial are the most expensive and take the longest, particularly in counties with heavily booked court calendars.
Issues that are commonly contested between spouses in divorces include:
- The division of property and assets
- The division of debts
- Parenting plans, including issues of child custody, support, and visitation
- Spousal maintenance (alimony)
During court hearings, each spouse will need to provide evidence to the judge to benefit their case and assist the judge in making determinations regarding the terms of the divorce. Examples include:
- Testimony from medical experts, such as psychiatrists, regarding a spouse’s mental health.
- Testimony from witnesses attesting to actions or statements of the spouse.
- Official financial documents proving payment record or showing the lack thereof.
- Testimony from financial experts.
- Police reports or court orders, such as Orders of Protection, regarding either spouse.
- Communication between the spouses, proving or disproving certain facts or claims.
- Documentation of a spouse’s involvement in a child’s academic or extra-curricular activities.
- Drug and alcohol records for either spouse.
If the terms of the divorce cannot be agreed upon during court hearings, the judge will ultimately rule on the final terms during the divorce trial.
Having a divorce attorney on your side can greatly ease the burden of contested divorce proceedings. Experienced attorneys will also be able to maintain your best interests through the negotiations and help you procure and produce the best evidence to support your case, all while ensuring court procedure and law is being appropriately followed.
To learn about court processes related to divorces in Arizona, visit the websites for the superior court in the county where you intend to file. Examples include:
Rideout Law Group handles cases throughout the entire state of Arizona, with offices located in Scottsdale and Lake Havasu City. Our attorneys are experienced in handling contested divorces. For a free consultation, call 480-584-3328.