Starting Your Divorce with The Divorce Guy
The Divorce Guy offers professional divorce legal document preparation services. We have decades of experience preparing documents for divorces in Arizona. By using our service you can avoid the expense of a high priced attorney so that you can focus your financial resources on helping your family make necessary transitions after your divorce.
Our divorce document process begins with 30-minute interview, either in our office in Tucson or Mesa, or over the phone to save you a trip. In this interview we will ask you a series of questions to gather the information described below. Your answers will give us the information we need to prepare the paperwork for your case.
Don’t worry if you don’t have all of this information right at your fingertips. We will help you find everything you need.
Here is the information we will need to get started on your divorce:
Information About You And Your Spouse
We will need the following basic information about both you and your spouse:
- Mailing address
- Date of birth
- Phone number
- Social security number (if there are children involved)
What if I do not know where my spouse is?
What if you don’t know where your spouse is? No problem. If the whereabouts of your spouse are unknown, the court will require that you do everything possible to try and find your spouse. Examples would be talking to family members, researching social media, reaching out by social media and mailing to a last known address. In some cases you would hire a private investigator to locate your spouse. In the event that all avenues have been exhausted, you would need to request permission from the court to allow another method of service or publication.
We can prepare and file a Motion and Order for Alternative Service detailing all of the attempts that you made and that there are no other options for you. If the judge grants your Motion, then we can serve by publication.
What Information Do I need About the Marriage?
We will need to know the date of the marriage and the city where it took place.
What information do I need if Minor Children Are Involved
If you and your spouse have minor children, we will need the following information for all children involved:
- Dates of birth
- Complete list of where they have resided for the past 5 years
- Parents’ social security numbers
We will also need to know your proposal for who the children will live with and how often they will visit the other parent. But remember, there are county guidelines for visitation, so don’t worry if you’re not sure about this.
Also, the child support calculation takes into consideration the following factors, so be prepared to provide this information if you can:
- The gross income (income before taxes) of each parent
- Whether or not either parent is supporting children from other relationships
- The cost of medical and/or dental insurance for the children
- Any extraordinary and ongoing school and/or medical expenses for the children
- The ages of the children
- The number of days of visitation per year
Information About Your Assets and Debts
You and your spouse may already have come to an agreement about how you will divide your assets and liabilities. If so, then we will make the documents very simple. For example, you may have agreed upon a very simple division of bank accounts and personal property like this:
- Each party shall keep all funds in any bank account that is titled in their name alone.
- Each party shall keep all of the personal property currently in their possession.
However, if you prefer to specifically list bank accounts with account numbers and personal property then that is no problem at all. In that case, you will need to provide us with a list and we will incorporate them into the divorce documents.
The same basic options apply to the following items as well. If you and your spouse have come to an agreement about a simple division of these assets and liabilities, let us know that. Otherwise, provide us with a list and we will include your proposed division in the divorce documents.
- Motor vehicles
- Pension/retirement plans
- Business interests
If you and your spouse own real estate, that is usually more complicated and requires some specificity. We have experience with many different circumstances and can draft language for any situation. We will ask you questions like these to help identify the factors that need to be considered:
- In whose name is the property currently titled?
- Will it be sold?
- If it won’t be sold then who will maintain possession and ownership after the divorce?
- Will the other party sign a Quit Claim deed?
- Will one party be given the option to refinance the property?
- What will the other party receive as their community share of the equity?
Don’t worry if you are not sure about the answers to all of these questions. We will guide you through the process.
Information About Financial Considerations
In your interview, we will discuss with you whether you want to file joint or separate tax returns this year and whether either party will receive spousal maintenance (alimony).
After the Interview
Once we have all the information that we need to complete your divorce documents, we will prepare these documents for you:
- Civil Cover Sheet
- Preliminary Injunction
- Petition for Dissolution
- Affidavit Regarding Minor Children*
- Confidential Information Sheet
- Notice to Creditors
- Notice of Right to Convert Health Insurance
- Order to Complete Parenting Class*
(*If you have minor children.)
These documents will be prepared in triplicate. The originals are filed with the Court and one set goes to each party after they have been date stamped.
Unlike a “Do-It-Yourself kit,” we don’t just prepare documents and then leave you to figure out the rest of the process on your own. We make sure your spouse receives legal notice so you don’t have to worry. Your spouse will be served either through acceptance of service, certified mail/restricted delivery, publication, or by a process server, depending on the circumstances. We can handle everything for you, including filing proof of service with the Court.
During the Divorce Process
The exact process of your divorce will depend on whether your spouse contests any of the provisions in your Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. We have outlined the processes for both uncontested divorce and contested divorce in another blog post (https://www.azstatewideparalegal.com/blog/uncontested-divorce-contested-divorce/).
Regardless of whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, we can assist you with all the paperwork needed throughout the process. For example, we can file an Application for Default for you if the other party has not responded within a set period of time after being served with the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
How long does the other party have to respond? That depends. Usually it is 20 days, but if the other party is out of state it is 30 days, and if service is by publication it is 30 days from the first date of publication. Worried about keeping track? Don’t be – we track deadlines for you so that the process is as stress-free as possible.
A contested divorce involves other documents, such as the Motion to Set and Pretrial Statement, and its own set of deadlines. We can help you with all of them.
Finalizing Your Divorce
Once a judge has signed off on your divorce paperwork, we will prepare and file the following documents:
- Decree of Dissolution
- Rule 44 Motion (when there are no minor children)
- Parent’s Worksheet*
- Child Support Order*
- Order of Assignment*
- Fact Sheet*
- Confidential Sensitive Data*
- Parenting Plan*
(*If you have minor children.)
Again, these documents are prepared in triplicate: one set for the Court and one set for each party.
We hope this information has been helpful. When you work with us you do not need to worry about anything. We complete this process hundreds of times per year.
Contact our office today so that we can walk you through the divorce legal document preparation services we offer.