Your Uncontested Divorce Documents Have Been Filed,

Now What?

What happens after you uncontested divorce is filed:

  • Once your divorce is filed with the Court, the mandatory 60 day waiting period begins.

  • All of your divorce documents are filed and provided to the Court on the same day.  Within 24 business hours of filing your documents, our office will email you copies of your filed divorce documents, along with proof of paying your court filing fees.

  • You will be provided with a document entitled Receipt and Notice Summary Consent Decree.  This document lists when your waiting period expires, your case number, and the name and contact information for the assigned Judicial Officer.  

  • If you matter involves minor children, you MUST to complete the Parenting Information Program (PIP) within the sixty (60) day waiting period.  If you do not complete this class within the waiting period, the Judge will not finalize your divorce.  You will need to provide your case number when you register for this class.  You can find your case number on the righthand side of the first page of any filed document.  Your case number will begin with FC.  If you case begins with FN, you do not need to take this class.  You can find an approved list of parenting class providers HERE (bottom of the page).  

  • Typically during the waiting period, the Judge will sign the Order regarding your Rule 69 Agreement and the Court will mail you a copy of this signed Agreement.  Keep in mind that receiving this document in the mail does not mean your divorce is final.  Your divorce is not final until the Judge signs the Consent Decree.

  • On the 61st day after the documents have been filed, the waiting period expires.  After this point, the Judge will either accept or reject your Consent Decree and accompanying documents.  Keep in mind that Judges rarely review Consent Decrees on the 61st day.  Judges have up to 60 days after the expiration of the waiting period to sign or reject, however most Judges will review a Consent Decree within 3 weeks of the expiration of the waiting period.

  • You can check the status of your matter HERE.  You are also welcome to contact our office to check the status of your matter, however, we cannot access any further information other than what is found on the website linked above.  

  • The document entitled Receipt and Notice of Summary Consent Decree lists the contact information so that you can request further status directly from the Court if needed.  Please note, since we do not represent you, we cannot call the Court on your behalf.  

  • If the Judge accepts your Consent Decree, the Judge will sign the Decree, which makes your divorce final.  The Judge will then provide the signed copy to the Clerk for filing.  Once the signed Decree is filed, copies will be mailed out.  Your copy is mailed to our office so we can confirm that the Decree has been signed.  The opposing party’s copy will be mailed directly to them.  Once we receive the filed Decree, we will email you a copy for your records.  

  • Until you have a signed copy of the Consent Decree (not the signed Rule 69 Order), do not get remarried or make any large purchases without your soon-to-be-ex-spouse’s permission.  If you remarry before your Consent Decree is signed and filed with the Court, you are not divorced and your new marriage will not be valid.  If you make large purchases without your soon-to be-ex-spouse’s permission, this could potentially make the divorce more complicated if your spouse does not agree with your purchase.  Please schedule a consultation with our office if this applies to your situation.  You can schedule a phone consultation HERE.    

  • If you need copies of your court documents, our office maintains copies of your documents for the period of time discussed in your engagement letter.  We do not keep any original documents and we only keep electronic records.  You may also obtain copies of your documents by visiting any Maricopa County Superior Court location (for a fee) or by accessing the Electronic Court Record (free) website HERE.

If Your Consent Decree Is Rejected:

  • In the unlikely event that your Consent Decree is rejected by the Court, the Court will contact you directly. The Court will not contact our office since we do not represent you.  If this occurs, please contact our office to discuss the next steps.  

  • If your Consent Decree is rejected due to a misplaced document, we will provide you with any previously prepared document at no additional cost.  We keep copies of all of your documents for the period of time discussed in our engagement letter in case the Court misplaces any of the documents.  Do not be alarm if the Court misplaces any of your documents.  It is not uncommon for the Court to misplace documents like the Child Support Worksheet or a Child Support Order.  

  • If the Court requires you to amend or correct the Consent Decree or any of the accompanying documents, please be aware that the flat fee you paid does not include any amendments or corrections. Please contact our office to discuss the amendment/correction needed, and we will provide you with a quote.  

If Your Matter Involves Child Support or Spousal Maintenance (Alimony)

  • ALL Child Support Payments and/or Spousal Maintenance payments must be made through the State Clearinghouse, unless your Decree states something otherwise.

  • The Court will not do anything regarding Child Support and/or Spousal Maintenance until the Consent Decree has been signed/filed.  Once the Consent Decree has been signed/filed, the Court will provide the information to the Clearinghouse.  This process can take a few weeks.  

  • You will need to obtain your ATLAS number which is connected to any Court Ordered Child Support or Spousal Maintenance.  Your ATLAS number is different than your case number.  You can obtain your ATLAS number by contacting the Clerk of the Court at 602-372-5375 and following the prompts.  Provide them with your case number and they can provide you with your ATLAS number.  

  • If you are the party receiving either type of support payment, the State will automatically put your funds onto a debit card that will be mailed to the address you provided on your documents.  If you wish to set up direct deposit instead of using the debit card, you can complete and mail the form found HERE.  Even if you have completed the direct deposit form, some payments may be loaded onto the debit card still.  Keep your debit card until you start receiving direct deposits.  

  • This envelope that the debit card arrives in often looks like junk mail and it can be difficult to obtain a new one.  Please make sure to be careful with your mail until you receive a debit card.  

  • If you are the party required to make payments, unless otherwise agreed upon and listed in your Decree, your payments will be withdrawn from your paychecks.  However, this can take a month or 2 until the funds start coming out of your paychecks.  In the meantime, you are still required to make payments. If you are not a W2 employee, you will need to make your own payments.  You can find instructions on how to make payments HERE.  

  • Keep in mind that Child Support and Spousal Maintenance are both due on the 1st of the month but are not considered delinquent until the 1st day of the following month.  

  • Please visit the Clerk’s Support Payment Page HERE or Arizona Department of Economic Security Child Support Services Page HERE for more detailed information regarding payments.  

  • If you are required to pay child support, keep in mind that the Court will not automatically stop a Child Support Order when your child(ren) become emancipated.  The definition of emancipation for child support purposes is when the child turns 18 and is not in high school, or if the child is 18 in high school, they are emancipated when they graduate or turn 19, whichever occurs first.  Your child support will continue to come out of your paychecks until you notify the Court that your child(ren) have emancipated.  To do this, you will need to file documents with the Court.  Please contact our office to discuss this further.  You can schedule a consultation HERE.  

  • If you need further assistance, please feel free to schedule a consultation HERE.  

Changing Your Name.

If you listed in your Consent Decree that you wish to restore (change) your name back to your prior name, follow these steps:

  • You will need to obtain a Certified Copy (one seal copy) of your Consent Decree from the Clerk of the Court.  Keep in mind that a Certified Copy is not the copy you were provided when your Divorce was finalized or a copy downloaded from the Electronic Court Records (ECR) portal. This is a special copy with a raised seal that you must obtain directly from the Clerk for a fee.  You can do so by following the instructions found HERE or by going to any Maricopa County Superior Court.  You will need your case number to make matters easier.  

  • Once you have a Certified Copy of your Consent Decree, you will need to go to your local Social Security Office to change your name and obtain a new social security card.  For more information regarding Social Security procedures for changing your name, visit HERE.

  • Once you receive your new Social Security card in the mail, you can then go to the AZ MVD to change your name and obtain a new driver’s license.  You can find more information HERE.

  • After you receive your new driver’s license, you will be able to change your name in all other places like credit cards, bank accounts, loans, etc.

Tips to Avoid Future Issues.

Our goal is for our clients to resolve family law issues without unnecessary court intervention whenever possible.  Below please find some tips to avoid a contested matter in the future:

  • Do not make any one-sided (unilateral) decisions regarding any of the agreements listed in your Consent Decree.  For example, if you are required to pay a fixed amount in child support every month, do not pay less or stop paying all together.  If you are unable to pay child support and/or spousal maintenance as it is stated in the Consent Decree, both parties must agree to a change or you must ask the Court to make a change.  If you decide on your own to pay less, or stop paying, you still owe what is listed in your Consent Decree plus interest, unless you receive an Order from the Court that says otherwise.  Please feel free to schedule a consultation with our office to discuss your options further.  You can schedule a call HERE.        

  • Do not make any verbal agreements or write up your own agreement with the other party.  This can include, modifying child support, modify spousal maintenance, changes to the parenting plan, etc.  If both parties agree to make a change, it is always best to file an Agreement with the Court.  Filing an Agreement with the Court does not typically mean you will need to go in front of a Judge.  Our office can prepare and file Agreements for a flat fee.  Feel free to schedule a call HERE to obtain a quote.  

  • You are not required to notify the Court of minor changes.  For example, if you need to change your parenting plan for only one week, you do not need to notify the Court.  The only time you need to notify the Court (by filing an Agreement or a Petition to Modify if the parities do not agree) is if the change will be ongoing.

  • Do not move out of the Phoenix area with any of the minor children without the other parent’s permission if you have joint legal decision-making authority.  If you have the other parent’s permission, you should file an Agreement with the Court.  Our office can prepare and file Agreements for a flat fee.  Feel free to schedule a call HERE to obtain a quote.  If the other party does not agree or you need more information prior to speaking with the other party, please feel free to schedule a consultation to discuss your options further.  You can schedule a call HERE.  

  • Even if you have sole legal decision-making authority, there are still specific steps you need to follow in order to properly move out of the area without violating the Court’s orders.  Please feel free to schedule a consultation to discuss your options further.  You can schedule a call HERE.      

  • Keep in mind that the Court will not be following up with either party to make sure they are following the terms of the Consent Decree.  This includes confirming that a party is paying Child Support or Spousal Maintenance.  Unfortunately, the burden falls on the parties to notify the Court if one party is not following the terms of the Consent Decree.  If this occurs, do not wait a long period of time to notify the Court.  Please feel free to schedule a consultation to discuss your options further.  You can schedule a call HERE.

  • If you matter involves children or spousal maintenance, make sure to keep the Court informed of all updates to your contact information.    

Feel free to reach out to us if you have any further questions.

Please note, unless indicated, your non-refundable flat fee does not include consultations.  

If you require further assistance, please book a consultation here.  

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Chelsea Legal PLC

  • 3707 East Southern Avenue, Mesa, Arizona 85206, United States (Until March 31, 2024)

  • As of April 1, 2024, our office will be located at 2266 S. Dobson Road, #200, Mesa, Arizona 85202

  • Phone -  (602) 200-4501

  • (Call or Text)

  • Fax - (480) 795-7040

  • Email - CW@ChelseaLegalAZ.com

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