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Family Law Research Guide: Contested Divorce

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If the other party and I do not agree on the terms of divorce, how do we get to trial?

The court will not automatically schedule a trial date for divorce cases. In order to start the trial process, one party must file a motion indicating readiness for trial and must comply with the local court's rules and orders. These rules vary from county to county superior court. You can call the local clerk of Superior Court's office to get information on any local rules and orders in your area. At hearing be prepared to present evidence regarding custody, visitation, child support, and division of property and debts.

What if a witness that I need for my case at trial does not want to attend?

In-state witnesses who are reluctant to attend trial and testify may be required to do so by court process. Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure 52. The clerk of the court is authorized to issue a subpoena for the attendance of a witness upon the request by either party. Service of subpoena upon a witness is made by delivering a copy of the subpoena to the individual and if the person's presence is commanded by tendering to that person the fees for one day's attendance and the mileage allowed by law. Proof of service when necessary shall be made by filing a statement of the date and manner of service and the name of the person served, certified by the person who made service. This proof of service should be filed with the county clerk of the county in which the case is pending. Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure 52(b).

What if I need documents for my case at trial that someone will not release to me?

If production of a document or tangible item is needed, a subpoena duces tecum may be used to require a witness to bring the document or item to the trial. Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure 52(a)(1)(C).

What if I do not like the judge's ruling?

You can seek post-judgment relief from the judge's ruling. One way to do this is to file a motion for a new trial. Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure 83(a).

You can also file an appeal. A notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days after entry of the judgment unless the time has been extended by a motion for a new trial. Failure to file a timely notice eliminates the right to appeal except possibly for some very narrow and limited circumstances. There must be grounds for an appeal. Arizona Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure (A.R.C.A.P.) 9.


Last revised:  22 October 2008

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