What Does It Take To Get a Divorce in Arizona?

By: Kevin JensenDecember 8, 2023 -
What does it take to get a divorce in Arizona

Getting a divorce in Arizona involves several steps and understanding legal requirements. At Genesis Family Law and Divorce Lawyers, we know these steps inside and out and can guide you through each one. Whether you seek an uncontested or contested divorce, you need to know about Arizona divorce laws and divorce proceedings. This includes issues related to a covenant marriage.

Learn more about filing a divorce petition with the AZ family court below. Then, contact us for help with your divorce case.

The Arizona Divorce Process

A. Initiating the Divorce

To start a divorce in Arizona, you need to file a petition for divorce in court. This legal document tells the court you want a divorce and why. Our lawyers help you prepare and file this document, ensuring everything is in order. We provide that your petition reflects what you want from your divorce, like custody of your children or division of property.

B. Serving Divorce Papers

After filing the petition, the next step is to give (or "serve") these papers to your spouse. This lets them know you've started the divorce process. We handle this step for you, making sure it's completed correctly.

C. Responding to Divorce Papers

Your spouse then has a chance to respond to your petition. They can agree, disagree, or even file their requests. We help you understand what your spouse's response means for your case. We also prepare you for the next steps, depending on how your spouse responds.

C. Discovery Process

Both sides share information about money, property, and debts in the discovery process. This step is critical to understanding what needs dividing or deciding in your divorce. We help you gather and share the correct information. We also examine what your spouse shares to ensure everything's fair.

D. Settlement Negotiations

Before going to court, there's often a chance to settle things outside of court. This can include agreements on property, custody, and support. We help you negotiate these agreements, aiming for the best outcome for you. We always aim to settle things in a way that meets your needs and keeps things as peaceful as possible.

E. Trial and Final Judgment

If you can't settle outside of court, your divorce will go to trial. In the trial, a judge makes the final decisions about your divorce. We represent you in court, presenting your case and arguing for what you want. We work hard to get a final judgment that's fair and meets your needs.

Residency Requirements

Residency requirements

A. Residency Criteria for Filing a Divorce in Arizona

To file for divorce in Arizona, you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least 90 days. This rule ensures that Arizona courts have the right to handle your divorce. We check if you meet these criteria before starting your divorce. If you're new to Arizona, we'll help you understand when to begin the divorce process.

B. Duration of Residency

Living in Arizona for these 90 days must be continuous before filing for divorce. This means you must do more than come and go. It would help if you were an Arizona resident. We help you figure out if you meet this requirement. We can also help you minimize your filing fee for your divorce decree.

Grounds for Divorce in Arizona

Under Arizona law, you can get divorced without blaming your spouse for the marriage ending. This is called a "no-fault" divorce. But, if there are specific reasons (like cheating or abuse), you can mention these in your divorce, too. Our lawyers help you decide the best grounds to use based on your situation.

No-Fault Grounds

A. Irretrievable Breakdown of the Marriage

"Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage" is Arizona's most common no-fault reason for divorce. This means you and your spouse can't get along, and there's no chance of fixing your marriage. This approach often makes the divorce process less stressful and more straightforward.

Fault-Based Grounds

A. Adultery

If your spouse cheated on you, this can be a reason for divorce in Arizona. We help you prove adultery if you choose to use this as your reason. Using adultery as a ground for divorce might affect things like alimony or custody.

B. Abuse

Abuse, whether physical or emotional, is another profound reason for divorce. If you've faced domestic violence in your marriage, we're here to support you and use this as a ground for your divorce. We handle these cases with care and sensitivity, prioritizing your safety and well-being.

C. Abandonment

If your spouse left you and hasn't returned for a long time, this is called abandonment. We can use this as a reason for your divorce. We'll help you show the court that your spouse left and hasn't been supporting you.

Legal Separation vs. Divorce

Legal separation vs. divorce

Sometimes, couples choose legal separation instead of divorce. Legal separation means you're still married but live apart and have separate lives. We help you decide if legal separation or divorce is better for you. Each has different legal effects.

Legal separation might be a good choice if you're not sure about divorce or for religious reasons. It can also be about keeping certain benefits like healthcare. But it's important to know that you're still legally married in a separation. We help you understand the differences so you can make the best choice for you.

Factors Considered in Property Division

When you get divorced in Arizona, you must divide your marital property and debts. Arizona is a community property state, meaning most things you get during marriage are shared. We help you understand what counts as community property. We also work to divide your property and debts in a way that's fair to you.

Assets and Debts Acquired During the Marriage

Most items you acquire, or debts you take on during marriage are shared. This includes assets like houses, cars, and credit card debts. We work to divide them fairly, considering things like how much each of you contributed and your future needs.

Contributions to the Marriage

When dividing property, the court also examines how much each spouse contributed to the marriage. This isn't just about money; it can also be things like taking care of kids or supporting the other's career. We help show the court what you contributed. We ensure you get a fair share of the property based on your contributions.

Spousal Support (Alimony)

Spousal support (Alimony)

A. Temporary Alimony

Temporary alimony or spousal maintenance helps support a spouse financially during the divorce process. This is about ensuring both spouses can live while the divorce plays out. We help you figure out if you need spousal support. We work to win a fair amount that enables you to stay financially stable.

B. Rehabilitative Alimony

Rehabilitative alimony helps a spouse get back on their feet after a divorce. It might be for things like going back to school or job training. We help you figure out if you need this kind of support. We aim to get alimony that enables you to become financially independent again.

C. Permanent Alimony

Permanent alimony is ongoing financial support after a divorce. It's usually for longer marriages or when one spouse can't support themselves. We help you understand if you can get or need to pay permanent alimony. Considering your age, health, and marriage length, we work to get a fair arrangement.

Child Custody

A. Legal Custody

Legal child custody is about who makes major decisions for your kids, like school or healthcare. We help you figure out the best custody arrangement for your kids. We aim for an arrangement in your children's best interest and involve you in their lives.

B. Physical Custody

Physical custody is about where your kids live. We help you work out the best living arrangement for your kids. This might mean they often live with one parent or split time between both parents. We focus on what's best for your kids and work to get a custody arrangement that reflects that.

C. Sole Custody

Sole custody means one parent has both legal and physical custody. This can happen when it's best for the child, like if the other parent isn't safe or available. We help you understand when sole custody is the best option. We work to protect your kids and get a custody arrangement that's safe and stable for them.

D. Joint Custody

Joint custody means both parents share legal or physical custody. It's about both parents being involved in their kids' lives. We help you negotiate collaborative custody arrangements. We aim for a setup where your kids get to have both parents in their lives in a way that works for everyone.

Child Support

Child support

Child support in Arizona helps cover the costs of raising a child after the parents split up. It's money that one parent pays the other to help with things like food, clothes, and school for the children. We help you determine how much child support should be and who should pay it. We aim to ensure the support is fair and meets your child's needs.

Factors Considered in Calculating Child Support

  • Income of Both Parents: The court examines how much money both parents make. This includes things like salaries, bonuses, and other income. We help you understand how your income affects child support.
  • Parenting Time: How much time each parent spends with the kids can change the child support amount. More time might mean less money paid because you're directly providing for your kids. We help you figure out how parenting time affects your child's support.
  • Children's Needs: The court thinks about what your minor children need. This includes their age, health, and any special needs they might have. We make sure the court knows what your kids need so they get enough support.
  • Childcare Costs: If you have to pay for things like daycare or after-school care, this can affect child support. We help you prove these costs to be considered in the child support amount.
  • Health Insurance and Medical Costs: The court looks at who pays for health insurance and any extraordinary medical expenses for the kids.

Our Arizona Divorce Lawyers Can Help You Through the Divorce Process

Our Arizona divorce lawyers have the experience and knowledge to guide you through every step of your divorce. We provide clear advice and support, helping you understand your rights and options. We work hard to get the best outcomes for you, whether negotiating custody, dividing property, or sorting out support.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With Our Arizona Divorce Lawyers at Genesis Family Law and Divorce Lawyers Today

Schedule a free initial consultation  with our Arizona divorce lawyers

If you're facing a divorce in Arizona, don't go through it alone. Reach out to Genesis Family Law and Divorce Lawyers today. We're here to answer your questions, explain your options, and start building a strategy for your divorce. We're committed to helping you every step of the way.

Contact us today to schedule your initial case consultation.