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I just got served with divorce papers.  What do I do?

You will want to file a response whether or not you agree with what is written in the divorce papers. Your deadline to file the response is 20 days after you were served (30 days if you were served outside of Arizona).

If you agree with everything in the divorce papers, you may file a consent decree. Together, you and the other person list all your agreements a consent decree and file it with the court. Often, there is no hearing with a consent decree. Your court may have do-it-yourself packets for this option that have forms and instructions for how to file a consent decree. If not, many courts accept the packet provided by Maricopa County. Some courts offer special programs, such as counseling, or require additional steps, such as mediation. The costs for consent decrees may very contact the clerk of your county court for more information.

If you and the other person do not agree on all areas of the divorce, you may have a “contested” case and you will want to state your side in your response.  If you and the other party do not come to a full agreement, the court may set the matter for a hearing.

If you choose not to respond your case will default and the judge will award the person filing what was asked for in the divorce petition (papers).
Resources:
•    Arizona divorce or legal separation flowchart
•    Maricopa County divorce packets
•    Maricopa County How to Get a Default Decree in Family Court Cases