What is a Response to a Petition for Dissolution of a Covenant Marriage Without Minor Children?

This document is your opportunity to respond to a Petition for Dissolution of a Covenant Marriage Without Children that was filed by the other party. If you have a covenant marriage with minor children with the Petitioner, you should file a Response to a Petition for Dissolution of a Covenant Marriage With Minor Children.

In your Response, you have the opportunity to agree or disagree with each of the allegations in your spouse’s Petition, present your own allegations, and mention other issues that you would like the court to address.

Considering not filing a Response? There are consequences to not filing one; learn about why you should respond here.

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What’s Special About a Dissolution of a Covenant Marriage?

The state of Arizona will only grant a dissolution of a covenant marriage (a divorce) when certain circumstances are present. Either the Petitioner (your spouse) and you (the Respondent) must have been granted a separation and been separated for at least one year, or the Petitioner must be able to prove that you:

  • Committed adultery
  • Abused drugs or alcohol, to such an extent that the marriage became intolerable
  • Assaulted the petitioner, any children, or other family members
  • Had abandoned the petitioner for  one year, and refused to return
  • Was sentenced to death or imprisoned for a major felony or
  • Agreed to a divorce.

How Long Do I Have?

If you live in the state of Arizona, you have 20 days to file your Response (including weekends and holidays). If you live outside the state, you have 30 days to file a Response. If you do not file within this period, the Petitioner is legally allowed to file an Application for Default, which would grant the Petitioner every request in the Petition.

Tips for an Effective Response

Many attorneys will draft a response by admitting or denying each element of the Petition. In that case, the Response will look like one side of an argument – meaningless without hearing the other side too. Instead, consider stating your entire position in terms of what you want, so your Response can be viewed on its own and not only when the Petition is present.

We also suggest keeping your Response somewhat vague to leave yourself room for changing your position. Later, you can always modify or clarify your position.