Ending a marriage can be a difficult and emotional process. In order to file for divorce in Arizona, certain requirements must be met in order for the court to accept the case.
Before you can file for divorce in Arizona, each spouse must be a resident of the state for no less than 90 days before filing a petition, and live separately for 60 days prior to the divorce being finalized.
No Fault State
Since Arizona is a no-fault state, neither spouse needs to give a reason for the divorce. Only one party is required to assert that they believe the marriage to be “irretrievably broken.” This is considered the no-fault grounds of divorce.
A covenant marriage is one in which the marrying couple agrees to obtain pre-marital counseling and accept more limited grounds for divorce. If the marriage is recognized as a covenant marriage, also known is Arizona as a “higher marriage,” there are certain grounds that must be met when filing for divorce:
- One spouse has committed adultery
- One spouse has committed a felony and has been sentenced to death or imprisonment in any federal, state, county or municipal facility.
- One spouse has abandoned the marriage for at least one year before the other filed for divorce, and refuses to return
- One spouse has physically or sexually abused the spouse seeking divorce, a child or relative or either spouse that is living in the matrimonial home or has committed domestic violence
- Both spouses have been living separate and apart continuously for at least one year from the date the petition was filed with the court
- One spouse has habitually used drugs or alcohol
- Both spouses agree to a dissolution of marriage
The Courts Role and Your Rights
There are several factors that the court will address in a divorce hearing, including property, custody, and support. In Arizona, marital assets and debts are allocated evenly between the two parties in the divorce proceedings.
However, property bestowed as an individual gift during the relationship or purchased prior to the marriage remains individual property and it not distributed between both parties.
Both parties have the right to represent themselves in court, but consulting a divorce lawyer is the best decision to make to assure that all important matter are properly discussed.
If you represent yourself, the court will expect you to follow all laws and procedures that apply to your case, even if you are not an attorney or have legal experience.
Not following these procedures correctly could results in your loss of important rights and ability to request certain benefits in the proceedings.
Still Looking for an Arizona Divorce Lawyer?
Contact an Arizona divorce attorney at Thrush Law Group today.