Category: Public Records

Arizona Public Records

Arizona Public Records

Public Records in Arizona are created and maintained by various state and local government agencies, as well as by private individuals and organizations to provide information to the public about various matters. The use of public records allows for greater transparency and accountability on the part of the government, and it also allows members of the public to access important information about their state. Public Records in Arizona are available to the public by the Arizona Public Records Law. They are typically available to the public for inspection and copying.

Public Records can be useful for a variety of purposes, such as researching your family history, checking up on a new neighbor, or verifying someone’s identity. They can also be used to help locate missing persons or identify suspects in crimes. Public Records Requests should be made directly to the agency where the records reside. If an agency denies your request for records, it must provide you with the legal basis for its refusal in writing.

Some public records may be restricted due to privacy concerns. For example, certain medical records or adoption records may not be available to the general public. Birth certificates are closed for 75 years, death certificates are closed for 50 years. To request restricted public records, you will need to submit a written request to the appropriate agency.

How to Find Public Records in Arizona?

If you would like to request access to public records in Arizona, you can do so by submitting a written request to the appropriate state agency. The contact information for each state agency can be found on the Arizona State Government website. There are many different types of Public Records in Arizona, including birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licenses, divorce records, property records, criminal records, and more.

There are many different ways to access public records in Arizona. One way is to visit the office of the county recorder in person. Public Records can be obtained from the Arizona Department of Health Services, the Arizona Supreme Court, the Arizona State Archives, or the local county recorder’s office. Additionally, many local newspapers maintain online databases of public records that can be searched. Finally, several private companies offer access to public records for a fee.

You can also request public records online through the Secretary of State’s website. To request a paper copy of a public record, simply fill out the Public Records Request Form (PDF), print it out, sign it , and mail it to:

Secretary of State
Attn: Administration
1700 W. Washington Street, Fl. 7
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2808

or please contact the administration at (602) 542-0681.

When submitting a public records request, please be as specific as possible in describing the records you are seeking. In general, a public records request should include:

  • The name of the document and details of the document you are requesting
  • A date that you’d like to receive the documents
  • Your contact information, including an email, phone number, and mailing address
  • Method of delivery, email, or mail

Vital Records

Arizona Vital Records offers birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage records for individuals who were born died, or married in the state of Arizona. These records are available to the public for a fee and can be accessed online or in person. To obtain vital records from Arizona Vital Records, you must submit a request form with the required information and payment. Arizona Vital Records also offers a genealogy research service for individuals who are interested in tracing their family history. This service provides access to historical vital records as well as other resources that can help with your research. To learn more about this service, you can visit the Arizona Vital Records website or contact their office directly.

Birth and death certificates are public records that can be obtained from the Arizona Department of Health Services at:

150 North 18th Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Phone: (602) 542-1025
Fax: (602) 542-0883

Marriage and divorce records are public records that can be obtained from the Arizona Supreme Court at:

Main Address:
1501 W. Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Phone: 602-452- 3300

Criminal Records

Arizona criminal records are some of the most accessible in the country. This is due to the Arizona Supreme Court’s decision in State v. Arizona ex rel. Arizona Public Records Law, held that all criminal records in Arizona are public records and therefore subject to disclosure. There are a few ways to access Arizona criminal records. The first is to visit the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s website and use their online record search tool. The second is to contact the Arizona Criminal History Records Section directly. The third is to request the records from the county court where the case was tried. For access to criminal and civil court documents in the Superior Court visit the eAccess portal. This tool allows you to search for case information by name, case number, or keyword. Most court-case records are open to public inspection at the clerk of the court’s office during regular business hours.

Property Records

Property records in Arizona are maintained by the County Recorder’s Office in each county. These offices keep official records of all property transactions, including sales, transfers, mortgages, liens, and other encumbrances. Property records are public information, and anyone can request copies of documents from the recorder’s office. The most common type of document requested is a deed, which shows who owns a particular piece of property. Deeds are typically recorded when a property is sold, but they can also be recorded for other reasons, such as to correct an error or to add or remove someone’s name from the title.

Other types of documents that may be requested include mortgage documents, lien releases, and assessment rolls. Property owners can request copies of their records, or they can hire a title company or other professional to do a title search. A title search involves tracing the ownership history of a piece of property to ensure that there are no outstanding claims against it. This is important because if there are any claims, the new owner may be responsible for them.

Property records are an important part of any real estate transaction, and they can be used to verify ownership, determine the value and find out if there are any claims against a property. Anyone who is considering buying or selling property in Arizona should order a copy of the deed from the recorder’s office in the county where the property is located. They should also do a title search to make sure there are no outstanding claims against the property.

Public property records can contain a wide variety of information.

  • Residential or commercial purpose
  • Liens
  • Titles
  • Property deeds
  • Mortgages
  • Property tax assessment records
  • Zoning information
  • and Other related documents

Arizona Inmate Records

Arizona Inmate Records are public records that contain information about individuals who have been convicted of a crime and are currently incarcerated in an Arizona prison. This information includes the inmate’s name, date of birth, crime committed, sentence length, and projected release date. Arizona Inmate Records can be accessed by anyone who wishes to view them, and they are often used by employers, landlords, and others who need to conduct a background check. Arizona Inmate Records are an important resource for keeping the public safe, and they should be used responsibly.

Background Check

To run a background check, you should contact your local police department and submit a written request for a background check. The Arizona Department of Public Safety offers a criminal history check service for a fee of $25. This service will provide you with a list of any convictions or arrests on an individual’s record. The DPS website has a searchable database of criminal records. The office is located at:

2222 W. Encanto Blvd.

Phoenix, AZ 85009

Phone: 602.223.2000

Whether you’re looking for a background check for employment or personal reasons, there are a few options available to you in Arizona. With a little bit of research, you should be able to find the service that best meets your needs.

Use of Public Records in Arizona

The use of public records is governed by state law in Arizona. The Arizona Public Records Law (Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 39, Chapter 1) provides that any person has the right to inspect and obtain copies of public records, with certain exceptions.

There are three main types of public records in Arizona:

Financial Records: These include, but are not limited to, the budgets and expenditures of all state agencies, as well as the salaries of all state employees.

Personnel Records: These include, but are not limited to, employee performance evaluations and job descriptions.

Law Enforcement Records: These include, but are not limited to, police reports and 911 call logs.

Exceptions to the Arizona Public Records Law include, but are not limited to, records that are protected from disclosure by federal or state law, such as medical records or student records. Additionally, some types of public records may be exempt from disclosure if they are considered to be trade secrets or if their release would jeopardize the safety of an individual.

If you have any questions about the Arizona Public Records Law or how to request access to public records, please contact the Arizona Attorney General’s Office at 602-542-5025.

Office of the Attorney General

Phoenix OfficeTucson OfficePrescott Office
2005 N Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85004-2926
(602) 542-5025 
Fax (602) 542-4085
Hours: 8AM-5PM
400 West Congress
South Building, Suite 315
Tucson, AZ 85701-1367
(520) 628-6504 
Fax (520) 628-6530
Hours: 8AM-5PM
1000 Ainsworth Dr.
Suite A-210
Prescott, AZ  86305-1610
(928) 778-1265
Fax:  (928) 778-1298
Hours: 8AM-5PM

Consumer Information and Complaints Unit

1275 West Washington Street

Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Phone: 602-542-5763

Toll-free within Arizona: 1-800-352-8431

Fax: 602-542-4085


If you’ve been denied access to open records you may sue the official who denied you, and you also may appeal to the superior court. The Arizona Public Records Law allows state agencies to charge a fee for copies of public records. However, state agencies are required to provide the first copy of public records free of charge. Additionally, state agencies cannot charge a fee for inspecting public records.

No matter which method you use to search for public records in Arizona, it is important to remember that these records are subject to state laws and regulations. Whether you are looking for information about your family history or trying to track down property records, public records can be a valuable resource. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the different types of public records available in Arizona and how to access them.

Genealogical Research in Arizona

Genealogical Research in Arizona

Carrying out genealogical research can take up time and some resources. In Arizona, many resources are available to help discover your ancestry. Genealogical research can be rewarding, and you will learn about the stories, achievements, and history of your ancestors. 

Researchers will need to gather and sort a lot of information to trace their family line. It is ideal to work your way from the present to the past. The records of each person you find will shed light on their family history and help you discover more past generations. Begin by collecting information and relevant items from present family and friends. Furthermore, inquire about the family traditions, old pictures, journals, documents, and newspaper clippings that may have details on the family. 

Documenting the information you gather is very important. Ensure that you use research notebooks and charts to document your findings and log the timeline of live events (birth, death, marriage) that you are aware of. 

The Arizona State Library, Archives & Records is a great site to discover resources to assist you in your genealogical research. Access to old records and documents not considered confidential by the law are available on the platform. Visit the Genealogy Information Portal site to access various state and third-party resources that assist you in your genealogical research.  

Obtaining Arizona public records, including personal records, court records, and business records can be useful in the research. Personal records include:

Adoption records: Adoption records can be helpful in genealogy research. Identifying information and non-identifying information about adoptees are important. However, access to adoption records is limited because they are sealed records in Arizona. Find out more about how to get adoption records on the child-welfare site

Arizona adoption records are confidential for 99 years, but with the Confidential Intermediary Program, individuals can reconnect with adoptees that are immediate family members. If the record is older than 99 years, you can contact the Arizona State Archives to obtain it or send a request and get it from the state court that handled the proceedings.

Birth Records

While doing genealogical research, it is important to confirm and document the birth timeline of family members you discover. The birth records for births that occur within 75 years are kept by the Bureau of Vital Records of the Arizona Department of Health Services. You can order online or send a request to the mailing address:

Mailing Address

PO Box 6018

Phoenix, AZ 85005

You will also have to confirm your eligibility to get a copy of a birth certificate. For genealogy purposes, researchers must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Applicants must not be younger than 18 years of age.
  • Applicants must present valid documentation that shows their relationship to the owner of the record they wish to obtain (This could be a birth certificate, death certificate, marriage certificate, or any document that confirms their relationship).
  • Some information about the owner of the record must be provided to facilitate the finding of the record in the applicable electronic registry system.
  • The department does not accept pedigrees, lineage charts, and family trees as proof of the relationship between the applicant and the person named on the record.
  • The application must have the signature of the applicant. 
  • Applicants must provide a valid, government-issued identification document with their name and signature on it.
  • Applicants must also pay the associated fees for the process.

If a birth record is 75 years after the date of birth, you can use the Arizona Genealogical Search site to find it. Users need to input the full name, mother’s maiden name, and date of birth on the site to retrieve the results.

Death Records

 The Department of Health Services provides death records in Arizona. There is limited access to the general public spanning 50 years from the death event. However, It becomes an unrestricted public record after 50 years. 

You can find death records in Arizona by ordering online from the Bureau of Vital Records. Ensure that you qualify under the bureau’s eligibility requirements (same with birth records). 

The Arizona Genealogical Search site is also suitable for finding older death certificates maintained by the Arizona State Archives. 

Divorce Decrees and Marriage Certificates

The Superior Court in the county where the divorce proceedings occur is responsible for maintaining the records generated from the case. The court also keeps records of certificates for marriage licenses issued in the county. Interested persons can find recent divorce records or marriage records by requesting them from the clerk of the court in the county the event occurred. The process involves writing the request or form (if available) and submitting with required documents or information. Certain fees for the delivery may apply. 

Older divorce decrees and marriage records filed before the year 1950 may be gotten from the State Archives. However, confirm from the clerk’s office if they can provide the older files or you will need to contact the state archives. 

Naturalization Records: Naturalization records can provide you with information on how your ancestor became a citizen of America and they settled down in Arizona. Most naturalization records before 1906 that contain information on naturalizations granted in Arizona are available by contacting the Record Management Center of the Arizona State Archives.

You can find records on Naturalizations granted by the federal courts via the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). You can send a request for the records with the details of the event, including the possible date of entry in the county and of the naturalization.  

Arizona Newspapers

Newspapers can be a valuable contribution to your geological research. You can obtain stories regarding events involving your ancestors and information about them. You can find out their achievements, occupations, and other pieces that are useful to your research

Arizona newspapers at the state research library are either in print or digital forms. Print newspapers are available at the library from Monday to Friday, during the open hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding Arizona holidays.

Polly Rosenbaum Archives and History Building 

1901 W. Madison Street 

Phoenix, AZ, 85009 

Phone: (602) 926-3870

If you wish to find digital newspaper copies, microfilm collections, and databases, the state research library site has useful resources for this in the newspaper section.

Arizona Biographical Database

This database is searchable and can provide the listing of persons that appear in Arizona records, including the state’s collection of newspapers, periodicals, books, and tributes. The search tool allows users to type the name and perform a search. Results on the search will provide the full name, record source, location, page source, dates, and subject of the information of the person of interest.

However, the database does not contain everyone listed in a public record or include all the available records in Arizona. 

How Can I Find Sex Offender Databases in Arizona?

How Can I Find Sex Offender Databases in Arizona?

Parties regarded as sex offenders in Arizona face punishments, including enrollment into a registry for quite a long time or a lifetime. Offender information registries will contain reports of people indicted for specific sex offenses. The registry is available to everyone, and offenders must be enlisted on the database. Sex offender databases in Arizona are shared publicly to inform local area individuals that an offender is a residential occupant or works around them. It diminishes the danger of re-offense and checks the activities of the registrant.

Persons convicted by the Arizona legal system should finish their enlistment no longer than ten days from the conviction. After concluding the registration, the local law enforcement agency will get the offender data. The guilty party should visit the County Sheriff’s Office to start the process. Registrants will give some data, including their complete names, catching of fingerprints, blood tests, and a current photo.

Registrants will re-register consistently until dictated otherwise by a court or the state law. Since the state perceives that some previous wrongdoers are inclined to be re-culpable, it is procedural for registrants to be recognized by a specific risk level. The risk level determines their possible 

level of recidivism. These levels are:

Level 1: Offenders with the most reduced proneness to engage in more sex offenses fall under this level. Not all guilty parties under this level show up on sex offender information databases. Level one guilty parties sentenced for any of these sex wrongdoings will show up in the library:

  • Trafficking of juveniles
  • Rape.
  • Sex wrongdoings in which the casualty is a minor more youthful than 12 years of age.
  • Prostitution of minors.
  • Sexual abuse. 

Level 2: Offenders that fall under this level have a higher recidivism risk than level 1. Each registrant under this level will have their data available to local area individuals. Individuals and establishments must get a notification regarding the presence of offenders by non-electronic techniques (print media). The warning should contain the offender’s precise location, offense history, and a picture. 

Level 3: The danger appraisal for offenders that fall in this class has the most recidivism risk. Like level 2 guilty parties, level 3 offenders’ information is openly provided on offender databases. Local individuals should likewise get a warning of their presence.

The danger of re-offense by an individual and the level they will fall in depends upon some factors. There is a screening exercise in which these factors, including the number of offenses or weapons used during the act, determine their recidivism risk. 

Sex Offenses That Require Registration in Arizona

Following the Arizona Revised Statutes Section 13-3821(A), anyone found adjudicated guilty or has been convicted of any of the following crimes must be listed in the Arizona sex offender registration database:

  • If a person, who is not the victim’s parent, illegally imprisons a victim under the age of eighteen years.  
  • The kidnapping of a minor under eighteen years of age. In this case, the offender is not the parent of the minor.
  • The involvement in the sexual abuse of a minor less than eighteen years of age.
  • Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
  • Engaging in sexual assault, including the sexual assault of a partner (if the offense was committed before August 12, 2005).
  • Engaging in child molestation. 
  • Sexually abusing a child continuously.
  • Prostitution and child trafficking of a minor.
  • Sexual exploitation of a juvenile for commercial purposes. 
  • Sexual exploitation of a juvenile for any other reasons.
  • Enticing a minor with the intention of sexual exploitation. 
  • More than one conviction of indecent exposure to a victim under the age of fifteen. 
  • More than one conviction of public sexual indecency to a victim not older than fifteen years of age.
  • More than two convictions of indecent exposure.
  • More than two convictions of public sexual exposure. 
  • Falsification of one’s age.
  • Aggravated luring a juvenile for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
  • Sexual extortion of anyone younger than fifteen years of age.

Finding Arizona Sex Offender Databases

Arizona sex offender databases are accessible via various means. The state statutes mandate the Department of Public Safety to maintain a sex offender website containing the information of sex offenders in the state. The sex offender registry online search tool allows users to search for sex offenders in their community. Users can search for an offender by inputting an address, name/aliases, or email address. Individuals can also browse the published offender registry to view the details of every registrant in the state. 

Some offenders are non-compliant with the registration procedures and may not appear in your searches. You can browse the non-compliant offender list to obtain information on such individuals. 

Arizona sex offender database is also available on the National Sex Offender Public Website. The site contains access to a national database of sex offenders. However, you can narrow down your search by searching by location. This feature allows you to limit your search to a particular address or city in Arizona.

However, not all Arizona sex offender information is available online. The state laws mandate that only Level 2 and 3 sex offenders shall have their information in an online sex offender registry. You are more likely to find a complete sex offender database at the local law enforcement agency’s office. You can visit the Sheriff’s Office in your county of residence to check the sex offender database applicable to your community. Likewise, the Department of Public Safety is also likely to release such information upon request.

Education Records in Arizona

Education Records in Arizona

Arizona education records contain the student information of a particular school that is managed by an appropriate authority, usually the institution or a state agency. The Arizona Department of Education has jurisdiction over matters that concern public education in Arizona. Some education records may be kept private and unavailable to avoid divulging the sensitive information of minors in the educational records. Records with information regarding a minor are mostly restricted from the general public’s view to protect the minor’s privacy. Under the Arizona Revised Statutes Title 39, anyone can get education records that qualify as public information.   

Types of Educational Records in Arizona

The state considers student information as educational records used and stored in the school system. The information can be the following:

  • Yearbooks: Yearbooks are created annually and contain information on the students individually or by their classes. In a yearbook, you can see the pictures, names, personal achievements, and related personal details of a student.
  • Alumni Directories: Alumni directories are books that contain information on persons that attended the school. They can help to find the location or contact information of alumni in case a person wishes to contact them. Alumni directories may be compiled during significant school events that involve alumni, such as the school anniversaries or alumni get-togethers.
  • Student grades and report cards: The compilation of the results and report cards of students are also contained in their educational records. However, such information may be confidential.
  • Transcripts: A transcript is the summary of a student’s academic information during the entirety of their period in a school. Transcripts contain important educational information regarding a student, including grades, certificates, honors received, and degrees.
  • Health Records: Schools usually keep health information for emergencies and wellness purposes. It provides medical histories, including all ailments and allergies. However, there is limited access to health information if it is not for specified purposes. 

Education records can refer to any variety or form of information as long as it involves a student. It may be emails, documents, audio recordings, videotapes, and other items. 

Access to Education Records in Arizona

There is a restriction on the availability of the records to any party considered ineligible. Per the Arizona Revised Statutes section 15-141, the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) law governs general access to the record. The FERPA law states who has the authority to view and inspect the academic information of students. Typically, the students or parents are the only individuals conferred unrestricted means to view education records. The law forbids schools from sharing the records with unauthorized persons and agencies. FERPA laws mandate the school to inform the parent and student of their privileges annually.  

Under the FERPA laws, parents have the main access to get the records. Students also become qualified when they turn eighteen years old or commence a college education. They enjoy the following privileges:

  • They can view and examine records kept at the institution. However, the educational institution can decide to provide copies of the records or not. An exception is if the parent or student cannot review the records in person for valid reasons. 
  • Upon examining a record and noticing an error, they have the right to tell the school to amend it. If the school fails to modify the error, a formal hearing may ensue. The parent or student can make a public statement concerning the inaccuracy of the information upon further refusal by the school to amend it after the hearing.
  • The school cannot provide the records to anyone else without the express consent of the student or parent. However, FERPA allows legitimate parties to inspect or get the records under specified situations. They include:
  1. When a student switches schools, the previous school can send copies of relevant records to the new school.
  2. Officials with genuine concern for the student’s academics.
  3. If a court or judicial subpoena mandates the provision of the record.
  4. The school can give the records to organizations for accreditation.
  5. The school can give out students medical histories and information during medical emergencies. 
  6. Arizona laws that concern the juvenile justice system may mandate the release of the records. Such laws allow the disclosure to facilitate schemes or services to rehabilitate minors held by the juvenile justice system. Likewise, the disclosure is also permitted to decrease juvenile crime and prevent delinquent behavior.  
  7. Agencies or organizations that grant financial support may require the records. 

On their initiative, schools can publicly provide directory information of students/alumni. Such information may include the student’s full name, age, location of birth, residential address, degree, the date they attended the school, and phone contact. Before the disclosure, the school must inform the parent and student about the disclosure. They can contest the disclosure with the appropriate authority.

Making an Education Records Request 

Education records in Arizona are not provided by a particular agency such as the Arizona Department of Education. You can find them at the district level or the local schools. However, you will need to confirm if the law considers you as an eligible party fit to get the records. 

Typically, unrestricted disclosure is available to either a parent or a student (18 years and above). 

You can contact the school district or administration overseeing the school to confirm your eligibility and other obligations to be fulfilled to make your request. The Arizona State Board for Charter Schools provides a request form to complete and send via email for public information requests. You can also send the form via mail to:

Arizona State Board for Charter Schools

P.O. Box 18328

Phoenix, AZ 85005

Records such as transcripts or test scores are only obtainable at the institution. If you are eligible to obtain this, you can write to the district or school.

How to File for Divorce in Arizona

How to File for Divorce in Arizona

Couples whose marriages are legal under Arizona family law can petition the court to dissolve the civil union. The legal process begins with a petition at the Superior Court and ends when the court issues a decree of divorce from bed and board. Following this decree, the individuals cease to exist as husband and wife and may enjoy the legal and social status ascribed to unmarried persons in Arizona.

The legal process of divorce depends on the nature of divorce, i.e., a contested or uncontested divorce. In the former, the couple may have to use court services to mediate the terms of a divorce agreement or leave the resolution of disputes to the presiding judge. The latter type of divorce is typically faster and often more satisfying to the persons involved. Either way, a typical petition for divorce goes thus:

  1. Filing a divorce petition

The intending divorcee files a petition at the Clerk’s office in the Superior Court located in the county of their residence. The forms that the intending petitioner must complete are on the family law forms page. There are divorce form packets for couples filing for divorce with children and those filing for divorce without children.

Note that, Arizona residency requirement for divorce mandates that either spouse must have resided in Arizona for at least ninety (90) days. Persons filing for divorce need not specify a reason for divorce. Arizona divorce law allows petitioners to deem and cite the marriage as irretrievably broken (Az. Rev. Stat. 25-316).

Besides these, the intending divorce must check for other requirements peculiar to the county of petition or the Superior Court. State laws only outline the general rules and procedure for filing a divorce petition in Arizona. Counties and municipalities may also adopt local rules and procedures for filing a divorce.

  1. Paying the Filing Fee

The filing fee for a divorce petition in Arizona is $234.00 (see the Superior Court fee schedule). The petitioner still must pay other fees, such as during the service of process, apart from the costs incurred during personal expenses and legal preparation for the case. However, the court offers fee waivers and deferrals for persons who cannot pay court fees and demonstrate financial need.

  1. Service of Process

Here, the intending divorcee sends a copy of the divorce documents to the other spouse, i.e., a summons and petition. Generally, the petitioner has 120 days to serve these papers, and the respondent, i.e., the other spouse, has twenty days to respond to the divorce papers. Failure to respond to the divorce papers will cause the court to enter a judgment of default divorce against him/her.

Regarding serving the respondent, the petitioner may accomplish this by contracting the local sheriff or an unbiased third party who is an adult living in Arizona. The petitioner must pay this process server for the service, depending on the going rate in the county of residence. Intending divorcees in Arizona may not serve their own papers unless the divorce is a joint petition. In such cases, the respondent must complete a waiver of service form. Meanwhile, the process server shall return a Proof of Service or Affidavit of Service, which the petitioner must file with the Clerk.

  1. Responding To The Divorce Petition

Here, the spouse who received the divorce paper must prepare a written document called a response. The response may state the respondent agrees with the requests made in the divorce papers. Conversely, the respondent may contest the divorce. Either way, the recipient of the divorce papers must file the response with the Clerk of Superior Court.

He/she must submit the original copy of the response, make, and keep at least two copies of the written response for future reference. The Clerk shall stamp these copies as evidence of filing after the respondent pays a filing fee of $159.00. Note that these fees are subject to change and depend on the local court. 

Meanwhile, the respondent must also serve the spouse who initiated the divorce petition with a copy of the written response. Note that sending these papers to the petitioner need not follow the process of service. After the first service, the couples may mail subsequent documents to each other or the other party’s attorney if represented.

  1. Divorce Agreement Without Court Hearing

In contested divorces, the couple may meet and resolve the issues disputed with an impartial mediator and following counsel from their attorney. There are tradeoffs in this kind of agreement, but the advantage is that the couple controls the terms of the divorce agreement. Following resolution of disputes, and at any time before the divorce hearing holds, the parties must ask the court to grant a decree, i.e., a Consent Decree based on the terms of the independent agreement. In such a scenario, the court will not hold a trial and the divorce is final. Conversely, when the mediated resolution fails partially or wholly, the divorce proceeds to court hearing as scheduled.

  1. Court Hearing

A court hearing is only necessary in case of a contested divorce. Here, the Clerk schedules a trial date after a waiting period of sixty days, and the intending divorcees appear as self-represented parties or with an attorney who represents them. The trial in contested divorces is typically adversarial, and both parties present arguments and documentary evidence in support of claims and motions.

The purpose of a divorce hearing is to settle the disputed terms of the divorce agreement regarding alimony, child support, parental time, division of assets, and liabilities. Generally, the court will refer the couple to mediation before the presiding judge takes over the equitable ratification of the divorce agreement. Thus, the couple only presents their cases, and the judge’s decision is final on all disputed matters.

A Note to Persons Filing Divorce in Arizona

Filing for divorce in Arizona is a systematic process that largely depends on local rules and procedures. However, this is an overview of a typical divorce in the state. An intending petitioner may complete a divorce without legal representation to save legal fees. Such self-represented petitioners must use the self-help resources available on the judiciary website and other supplementary resources.

Although courts aim to give equitable rulings, divorce is seldom fair. A general rule of thumb in filing for divorce, especially in a contested divorce, is to hire an attorney if the other party hires one. If you cannot afford an attorney still, consider using legal aid resources to improve your chances of getting a fair ruling.

Prenuptial Agreement

Prenuptial Agreement


A prenuptial agreement or premarital agreement is an agreement between prospective spouses that is made in contemplation of marriage and that is effective on marriage.

Parties to a premarital agreement may contract with respect to:

1. The rights and obligations of each of the parties in any of the property of either or both of them whenever and wherever acquired or located.

2. The right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign or create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of or otherwise manage and control property.

3. The disposition of property on separation, marital dissolution, death or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event.

4. The modification or elimination of spousal support.

5. The making of a will, trust or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement.

6. The ownership rights in and disposition of the death benefit from a life insurance policy.

7. The choice of law governing the construction of the agreement.

8. Any other matter, including their personal rights and obligations, not in violation of public policy or a statute imposing a criminal penalty.

The right of a child to support may not be adversely affected by a premarital agreement.

Requirements for Valid Agreement

A prenuptial agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties.

A prenuptial agreement is not enforceable if the person against whom enforcement is sought proves either of the following: 1. The person did not execute the agreement voluntarily. 2. The agreement was unconscionable when it was executed and before execution of the agreement that person: (a) Was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party. (b) Did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party beyond the disclosure provided. (c) Did not have, or reasonably could not have had, an adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party.


A.R.S. 25-201 Definitions

A.R.S. 25-202 Enforcement of premarital agreements; exception

A.R.S. 25-203 Scope of agreement

A.R.S. 25-204 Amendment or revocation of agreement

A.R.S. 25-205 Limitation of actions