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First step in getting a divorce? Actually filing for one

by | Sep 28, 2017 | Blog |

The thought of getting divorced can understandably be confusing and stressful. After all, during a divorce, you and your spouse are essentially untangling your lives both emotionally and financially. The more strongly your lives intertwine, and the longer they are intertwined, the more difficult the process can be.

In many cases, those interested in getting a divorce simply have no idea where to start, which makes the process that much more overwhelming. Understanding the first steps involved in filing for divorce can help you to feel more in control of this type of family law proceeding from the start.

First step

If you want to split up with your spouse, you first must file a divorce petition in court. This legal document essentially tells the court that you want to end your marriage and that you are ready to start the process. Next, your petition will need to be served on your spouse, which also lets him or her know that the marital dissolution process has started.

What is on the divorce petition?

The divorce petition usually features the following pieces of information in Arizona:

  • Where and when you and your spouse got married
  • Your names and address
  • The grounds for your marital split-up
  • Who your children are from your marriage
  • An acknowledgment that you and/or your spouse has lived in Arizona for a minimum of six months
  • A declaration about how you want to address various divorce matters, including property division, visitation, child custody, child support, spousal support and finances


Because your divorce issues may take an extended period of time to resolve, temporary orders may be necessary to maintain your rights. For instance, perhaps your spouse is trying to withhold your child from you during the divorce proceeding, or maybe your future ex refuses to give you any support during your pending case. You can use a temporary order to address the following matters:

  • Who will have custody of the child
  • What type of visitation schedule the noncustodial parent will have
  • The amount of any child support
  • The amount of any spousal support
  • Which spouse can stay in the marital home
  • Who will have to cover the child’s health insurance costs
  • How you will split your household items
  • Who will cover the mortgage and utility bills
  • Who will be able to operate which automobile

When filing for divorce and seeking temporary orders, it is within your rights to pursue the most personally favorable outcome for yourself while most importantly taking into consideration the best interests of your child, if you have one.