Going through a divorce can be an immensely challenging and emotional experience. It requires extensive planning, negotiations, and paperwork, and affects families physically, mentally, and emotionally. To get through a divorce with as little stress and problems as possible, it is important to be well-informed and prepared to navigate the legal process of divorce. At The Peterson Law Firm, we understand the complexity of Arizona divorce laws and processes and are committed to guiding our clients through every step. To make things easier for you, we have made a comprehensive checklist of everything you need to know and go through an Arizona divorce in 2023.

Before Divorce

Before considering a divorce, it is important to evaluate your reasons and intentions for ending your marriage. Divorce is a major decision that can have lasting effects on your life, your spouse’s life, and your children’s lives. It is crucial to seek counseling or therapy, communicate with your spouse, and explore all other options before proceeding with a divorce.

If you’re planning to go through a divorce in Arizona, there are several things that you’ll want to consider before moving forward.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand divorce laws in Arizona. Arizona is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means that you don’t need to provide a specific reason for wanting a divorce. You simply need to state that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” This can make the divorce process quicker and less contentious than in states where a specific reason is required.

However, even if the divorce is “no-fault,” there may be disagreements between you and your spouse about how to divide property, who will have custody of any children, and how much support should be paid. These issues can be incredibly complex and emotionally charged, so it’s often a good idea to hire a lawyer.

A lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights throughout the divorce process. They can also help you negotiate with your spouse and come to a fair agreement that works for everyone involved. If you’re unsure whether you need a lawyer, it’s always a good idea to schedule a consultation to discuss your specific situation.

Another important thing to consider before going through a divorce in Arizona is the emotional impact that it will have on you and your family. Divorce can be incredibly difficult for everyone involved, especially children. It’s important to take the time to consider how the divorce will impact your family and to make sure that you have a support system in place to help you through the process.

At The Peterson Law Firm, we understand how difficult divorce can be, and we’re here to help. Our experienced family law attorneys can help you navigate the divorce process, protect your rights, and come to a fair agreement with your spouse. If you’re considering divorce in Arizona, we encourage you to contact us to schedule a consultation. We’re here to help you every step of the way.

Types of Divorce in Arizona

In Arizona, there are two types of divorce: contested and uncontested.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is one in which the parties agree on all issues and submit a written agreement to the court for approval. This type of divorce is typically less expensive and less time-consuming than a contested divorce.

Uncontested Divorce

A contested divorce is one in which the parties cannot agree on one or more issues, such as child custody, spousal support, or property division. In a contested divorce, the court will make the final decisions on these issues.

In either type, it is best to have an experienced divorce lawyer on your side to help you. Our divorce lawyers can provide sound legal advice and guidance throughout the process, which is often complex and laden with requirements.

Documents Needed – Divorce Checklist

Once you have decided to proceed with a divorce, the next step is to gather all the necessary documents. These documents include but are not limited to:

  • Marriage certificate: This document proves that you and your spouse were legally married.
  • Financial documents: These include bank statements, credit card statements, tax returns, and any other documents that provide information on your finances.
  • Real estate documents: These include documents related to any property you and your spouse own, including the deed, mortgage documents, and property tax statements.
  • Vehicle documents: These include titles, registration, and any loan agreements for any vehicles you or your spouse own.
  • Retirement and investment account statements: These include any documents related to your or your spouse’s retirement or investment accounts, including 401(k)s, IRAs, and other investment accounts.
  • Insurance policies: These include any documents related to your or your spouse’s health, life, or other types of insurance.

Separating from Your Spouse

After gathering all the necessary documents, the next step is to separate from your spouse. This includes finding a separate living arrangement, separating finances, and dividing property.

Find separate living arrangements.

Living together during the divorce process can be incredibly difficult and can cause additional stress and tension. It’s important to find a safe and secure living situation that works for you and any children involved. One of you may opt to live separately, or you could adopt a “bird nesting” arrangement, wherein you take turns staying in the house with your children. 

Separate your finances.

This can be a complex process, especially if you and your spouse have joint bank accounts, credit cards, or investments. It’s important to work with a lawyer and a financial advisor who is certified in divorce to ensure that your finances are separated in a fair and legal manner. They can advise you on creating separate bank accounts and opening separate credit accounts, and if you can safely and legally transfer money or assets, and other financial matters affected by your divorce.

Dividing property.

Arizona is a community property state. This means that any property acquired during the marriage is considered community property and is typically divided equally between the spouses. However, there may be exceptions to this rule depending on the specifics of your situation.

In order to divide property, you’ll need to create a comprehensive list of all assets and debts, including any real estate, bank accounts, investments, vehicles, and personal property. It’s important to work with a lawyer to ensure that all property is accounted for and that it is divided fairly between you and your spouse.

Protecting Your Children

It is important to remember that during this time, communication with your spouse should be civil and respectful, and all actions should be in the best interest of any children involved. 

Divorce can be especially difficult for children. It is important to keep their best interests in mind throughout the divorce process. This includes ensuring their safety, providing emotional support, and working with your spouse to create a parenting plan that outlines custody and visitation arrangements.

Getting Through the Process

Divorce can be emotionally and mentally draining. It is vital to prioritize your mental health and well-being during this time, as you still have to maintain some semblance of stability and normalcy for your children while trying to rebuild a life on your own. Seeking support from friends, family, or a therapist is advisable. Additionally, it is important to stay organized and keep track of all necessary documents and deadlines throughout the divorce process.

Going through a divorce can be overwhelming and complex, but it is important to approach it with a clear understanding of the legal process and your rights. At The Peterson Law Firm, we are committed to providing our clients with compassionate and knowledgeable legal representation throughout the divorce process. We hope this checklist has provided you with a comprehensive overview of everything you will need to go through a divorce in Arizona in 2023. If you are considering a divorce or have any questions about the process, we encourage you to consult with us for personalized guidance and support. 

We understand that divorce can be a difficult time for you and your family. Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge, guidance, and support you need to make informed decisions and protect your rights. We are here to help you every step of the way, and we will work tirelessly to ensure the best possible outcome for you and your family.


We value each and every one of our clients, employees, friends, and neighbors. Together, we have a social responsibility as a community partner to take proactive measures to keep our community well and to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Our office will remain open during regular business hours. However, we are implementing some additional precautions to limit social interactions and personal proximity. Specifically, we will seek to conduct consultations, meetings, conferences through video teleconferencing or on the phone whenever possible. Should an in-person appointment be needed, then we will coordinate those on an appointment basis.

If you have questions about your case and the status of the court, then please call. Our Firm will continually monitor the status of the coronavirus, so we are prepared to resume normal operations as quickly as possible.

From all of us at The Peterson Law Firm, please stay well.