Arizona Divorce & Separation
UPDATED: February 27, 2020
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Separations and divorces are of course common in every state. But the manner in which each state's legal system treats the separation or divorce process can vary widely, and you may have some specific questions about Arizona law. What are the grounds for which divorce can be filed in Arizona? Are legal separations allowed? Is mediation a requirement in Arizona before you can get a divorce? What are the specifics on annulments in Arizona? Find the answers to your Arizona divorce questions here.
Arizona Legal Separation:
Legal separations are allowed in Arizona. At least one party must be a resident of the state, and as long as both parties agree to the separation, the court will not automatically direct the pleadings toward divorce.
Grounds for Divorce/Fault - No Fault:
Arizona has both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. For no-fault divorces, "irretrievable breakdown of the marriage" is the basic standard used as grounds for divorce. Fault-based reasons, which are typically reserved for covenant marriages, include much more specific reasoning, for example: adultery, a felony conviction, abandonment for more than one year, habitual drug or alcohol abuse, and/or both parties agree to the dissolution of the marriage. Cruelty, reasonable apprehension of bodily hurt, willful desertion or abandonment are also grounds for a fault-based divorce, but only when at least one year has passed from the date of the act itself.
Residency/Where to File for Divorce:
The filing party must be a resident of Arizona for at least 90 days before filing for divorce. The petition should be filed in the Superior Court of the county where the filer resides. After service of process, there is a mandatory 60-day waiting period.
Availability of Simplified or Special Divorce Procedures:
In Arizona, separation agreements (in which the parties voluntarily come to pre-agreement on certain terms before their divorce is finalized, thus making the decision for themselves rather than letting the judge make it for them) are explicitly encouraged. Service waivers are accepted as well, and under certain circumstances, a court commissioner will hear marriage dissolution cases, rather than a judge, which saves all parties time and money. See a local divorce lawyer for details.
Arizona Divorce/Child Support/Child Custody Lawyers:
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Divorce Mediation in Arizona:
For covenant marriages, the court has the right to order a reconciliation conference, which would likely involve the services of a well-trained, court-appointed mediator. A mediation session might also be called for if there are issues that could be resolved and agreed upon amicably through a conference rather than forcing the parties, their children, and the oft-backlogged court system to suffer through unnecessary litigation.
An annulment is when a court declares your marriage legally invalid. In other words, rather than ending a marriage via divorce, an annulment is a declaration that the marriage was never valid in the first place. A marriage can be annulled due to one of the parties being underage (not legally old enough to marry at the time), bigamy, mental incapacity, force, or if the marriage was never consummated.
Arizona Online Divorce Services: