What Is a Consent Decree in Arizona Divorce Terms?
By Mike Broemmel
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A consent decree is a final order in an Arizona divorce case in which you and your spouse reach agreement on all issues. The consent decree document itself is a standard form that you and your spouse fill out after reaching a settlement. Sixty days must pass from the date the divorce petition was served before you can submit a consent decree to the court.
Written Settlement Agreement
Prior to submitting a consent decree to the court for approval, Arizona law requires you and your spouse to prepare and sign a written settlement agreement. A notary witnesses the signing. The settlement agreement resolves all issues, from dividing up property and bills to setting up child custody, support and parenting time.
Beyond preparing and signing a settlement agreement, you and your spouse must address other preliminary matters. If you have a child, you must each attend parenting classes. At the conclusion of the parenting program, you receive certificates, which you provide to the court to prove you completed the requirement. You must pay any filing or other fees associated with the case before submitting the consent decree to the court.
Cases with Kids
Arizona law requires you to submit an additional set of documents if you have children. These documents include an original parenting plan, which describes the custody and parenting time arrangement agreed to by both parents. A child support worksheet must also be completed and provided. The worksheet determines the amount of the child support obligation. You must also submit a child support order as well, for signature by the judge.
Submitting Consent Decree
You can personally deliver a consent decree to the court. Alternatively, you can choose to mail it in. The judicial branch has developed an online system where you can sign and submit a consent decree online. Contact the clerk of the court in the county where your case is filed to determine what delivery methods are acceptable to the court.
Mike Broemmel began writing in 1982. He is an author/lecturer with two novels on the market internationally, "The Shadow Cast" and "The Miller Moth." Broemmel served on the staff of the White House Office of Media Relations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from Benedictine College and a Juris Doctorate from Washburn University. He also attended Brunel University, London.