by Patricia Glover, CLDP, CP/ACP, CNSA Certified Legal Document Preparer, Glover Court Solutions & Estate Planning
rizona state law (A.R.S. § 25-314.01) now provides for a streamlined procedure when the parties (spouses) have reached a settlement and are in agreement as to the terms of dissolution/separation (e.g., parenting time, division of debts and assets, spousal support, etc.). If such a settlement is made prior to either spouse filing case-initiating documents with the court, the parties may jointly file a summary consent petition. The filing fee for a summary consent decree is fifty percent of the combined filing fee for a petition and answer, together with any additional filing fees assessed by the county. After 60 days following the filing of the petition, the court may enter a final decree. This process is anticipated to be a cost-effective option for non-contested divorce proceedings and will help to streamline the process for spouses who are in agreement as to the terms of their dissolution/separation.