The 5 Step Process to Filing for Divorce in Maricopa County

by | Dec 10, 2021 | Blog | 0 comments

There are two main types of divorce: uncontested and contested. In an uncontested divorce, both parties agree to the divorce and agree on how marital assets are to be distributed and other conditions of the divorce which may include parenting time for couples with minor children. In a contested divorce, the individuals cannot reach an agreement and a judge must decide on the divorce conditions. This is probably more common.

The steps for filing for divorce in Maricopa County, AZ are the same, regardless of whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. Here is the 5 step process to file for divorce in Maricopa County, AZ:

1. Meet the Arizona Residency Requirements

At least one spouse must be a resident of Arizona for a minimum of 90 days before filing a divorce petition.

2. Get Divorce Papers

Go to the Superior Court in Maricopa County and obtain divorce packets from the library resource center or the Clerk of Court. You can also apply and obtain Arizona divorce papers online.

3. Fill out the divorce papers

To avoid mistakes, it’s best to complete your divorce paperwork with the help of a divorce lawyer. There are also many online resources to help you out. Make two copies of all divorce paperwork. The original copies will be filed with the Court, you will keep a copy for yourself, and a copy will be served to your spouse.

4. File your divorce papers

Return to the Superior Court and file your divorce paperwork with the Clerk of Court. They will keep the original papers and stamp them as “filed.” Pay the divorce filing fee. If you cannot afford to file for divorce, then you may apply to have the fee waived.

5. Serve the divorce papers to your spouse

The Clerk of Court can help you arrange to have a copy of your divorce papers served to your spouse, either by a sheriff or by a registered process server. Your spouse must be served the divorce papers within 120 days of them being filed. They must then file a response within 20 days of being served the divorce papers.

What are the Tax Implications of Selling a Property During Divorce?

Whether and how the capital gains tax affects you during your divorce depends on what you are doing with the house. In general, transfers of property between divorcing spouses are nontaxable. But there are circumstances where the capital gains tax—a tax on profits from sales of property where the gains exceed a certain amount—does apply to transfers that are made as part of your divorce.

If your property is worth a lot more than when you bought it there is a tax benefit of selling as a married couple that includes a savings of $500,000 in capital gains tax. If you have even more gain than that you may want to consider an installment sale. Seller financing or an Installment Sale is a great strategy to sell your Maricopa County property and pay less in taxes by taking payments over several years rather than getting paid everything at the time of the sale. An installment sale is the sale of property where you receive at least one payment after the tax year of the sale. If you realize a gain on an installment sale, you may be able to report part of your gain when you receive each payment. This method of reporting gain is called the installment method. We use a third-party servicing company to handle the payments so both you and your spouse or ex-spouse can receive payments separately from the servicing company.

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