Faster, More Streamlined Option for Divorce – Summary Divorce Consent Decree.
Do you and your spouse agree to a divorce? Do you agree on all issues related to the divorce? The Maricopa County Superior Court has developed a faster easier way to divorce by way of consent. The court has created a Summary Divorce Consent Decree that streamlines the divorce process when the parties have a full agreement before filing for divorce.
To qualify for a Summary Divorce Consent Decree, the parties must be able to satisfy the following requirements:
- The parties must not have a covenant marriage.
- At least one party has lived in Arizona for the past 90 days before filing.
- If there are minor children, then they must have lived in Arizona for the previous six months.
- Both parties agree the marriage is irretrievably broken.
- Neither party wishes to utilize counseling offered through Conciliation Services.
If these requirements are met, the parties may then proceed to filing a Summary Consent Decree. The parties will file (at the same time) a Petition and Response for Dissolution of Non-Covenant Marriage along with their Notice of Intent to File Consent Decree for Dissolution of a Non-Covenant Marriage and their proposed Consent Decree. The other documents required to begin the divorce process must also be filed at the same time. The same filing fees must be paid by the Petitioner and the Respondent.
In the past, the petitioner would file a petition for dissolution of marriage then be required to serve the Respondent by way of personal service or the Respondent would have to accept service. The Summary Consent Decree eliminates the need for personal service.
If the parties have minor children, they must still complete the required Parent Information Program class.
The parties must still wait the required sixty days before submitting their Consent Decree to the Court. Once the sixty day waiting period has expired, the parties will submit their signed Consent Decree to their assigned judge for signature.
During the time period the parties file the Petition and before the entry of the final consent decree, if either party decides they no longer wish to proceed with the agreement previously reached, they may file a Motion to Withdraw Notice of Intent to File Consent Decree. The judge will have to rule on the motion, however, before the agreement is withdrawn.
The Summary Divorce Consent Decree was designed to reduce the steps required to divorce by way of consent. If you and your spouse are considering a divorce and would like to discuss this process further, please contact my office to schedule a free consultation at (480) 833-1113 .
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