If this is your first visit to my website, welcome! My name is Christine Springer and I'm the founder of Desert Edge Legal Services and the author of the content on this site.
Disclaimer: I’m a paralegal, not an attorney and cannot give you legal advice. This is not meant to be legal advice, and there is no guarantee that the information in this post will work for your individual situation. Please consult with an attorney if you have questions about your individual situation.
There is a relatively new, streamlined divorce process in Maricopa County, Arizona called a Summary Consent Decree. It can ONLY be used if both spouses fully agree on the divorce terms, such as child custody and child support and the division of marital assets, and the marriage was not a covenant marriage.
In 2020, Arizona made some changes to make it easier for Arizonans to access legal services.
Maricopa County Superior Court has done a great job of making packets of forms available so that individuals can represent themselves in many situations.
There are quite a few of them available on their website. There are usually very clear instructions and the exact forms you must complete and file.
Included in the Summary Consent Decree packet are two Family Data Coversheets, one if you’re getting divorced with children and one without children, Notice of Intent to File Summary Consent Decree, the Petition and Response (one document), the Consent Decree and Exhibit A, (where you tell the Court how you plan to split up your assets and parenting time), the Notice to Creditors and a Notice Regarding Health Insurance.
The documents must be signed by both parties, with some signatures requiring a notary to witness the signature. You pay both the filing fee and the Response fee to initiate the case with the appropriate documents.
According to the instructions (based on Arizona law) you cannot get a divorce until sixty (60) days after you file the papers. At that time, the judge will either sign the Consent Decree, reject it for corrections, or set the matter for a hearing.
I don’t know much about this process in real life, mostly because it’s so new. My thought is that if there are no assets and not much to fight about, the process should go smoothly.
This is fortuitous timing, considering the news stories about people realizing they want a divorce because of the pandemic.