If you and your spouse are considering divorce in Arizona, you should know that the state does offer conciliation counseling under ARS§ 25-381. According to the Maricopa County Superior Court, conciliation counseling is brief and has the goal of assisting parties in making an informed and thoughtful decision regarding their marital relationship.
Upon completion of the court’s conciliation counseling services, the parties can be referred to community-based counseling services for further assistance if the two parties express such an interest. The final decision regarding a marriage is made between the spouses themselves, where reconciliation of a marriage is never forced upon the spouses during the counseling process.
But what happens if one spouse has the desire to reconcile their marital relationship and the other does not? Counseling in the state of Arizona can actually be ordered after a Petition for Conciliation has been filed in any of the Conciliation Services regional offices. If the Petition for Conciliation is accepted, neither party will be allowed to file for legal separation or dissolution of marriage for a period of 60 days. If one of these actions has already been filed in court before the Petition for Conciliation has been accepted, the case will not be advanced until the 60 day period has expired.
After a period of 60 days, either spouse is free to go through with divorce or separation. The legal forms that must be used to request Conciliation Services, including conciliation counseling or mediation, can be found on the Superior Court's website.