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Arizona Divorce Laws

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Arizona Divorce Laws

RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS:

At least one party needs to be a resident of Arizona for a minimum of 90 days before filing for dissolution of marriage. There is also a 60-day waiting period after the service of process [Based on Arizona Revised Statutes; Title 25, Chapter 312 and 329]

WHERE TO FILE:

Papers should be filed in the county where the person petitioning for the dissolution resides. [Based on Arizona Revised Statutes; Chapter12, Title 401]

LEGAL GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE:

Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. [Based on Arizona Revised Statutes; Chapter25, Title 316]. However, if the marriage is a covenant marriage [Arizona Revised Statutes; Chapter 25, Title 901], the following may be considered grounds for a divorce:

  1. Adultery,
  2. Commission of a felony and the resulting imprisonment,
  3. Abandonment for at least one year,
  4. Physical or sexual abuse,
  5. Living separate and apart for at least two years,
  6. Habitual drug or alcohol abuse,
  7. The husband and wife both agree to the dissolution of the marriage. [Based on Arizona Revised Statutes; Chapter 25, Title 903]
NAME OF COURT IN WHICH TO FILE FOR DIVORCE:

The Superior Court in the county that the action is filed in. [Based on Arizona Revised Statutes; Chapter 25, Title 311]

LEGAL SEPARATION:

Arizona recognizes legal separation. At least one party must be a resident of the state and both parties must agree to the legal separation, otherwise the court shall direct that the pleadings be amended to seek a dissolution of the marriage. [Based on Arizona Revised Statutes; Chapters 25, Title 313 and 317]

MEDIATION OR COUNSELING REQUIREMENTS:

At the request of either party or on its own motion, the court may order a conciliation conference for the purpose of reconciling the marriage (in the case of a covenant marriage), or to reach an amicable settlement so as to avoid further litigation over the issues involved. [Based on Arizona Revised Statutes; Chapters 25, Title 316 and 381.09]

PROPERTY DISTRIBUTION:

Arizona is a community property state, with marital property and debt being divided equally, regardless of who's name is on the title. The court shall assign each spouse's sole and separate property to such spouse. [Based on Arizona Revised Statutes; Chapters 25, Title 318]

ALIMONY/MAINTENANCE/SPOUSAL SUPPORT:

The court may grant a spousal support order for either spouse for any of the following reasons if it finds that the spouse seeking maintenance in a proceeding for dissolution or legal separation:

  • Lacks sufficient property to provide for his or her needs,
  • Is unable to be self-sufficient or is caring for a child whose age or condition makes it unreasonable to seek outside employment,
  • If one spouse contributed to the educational opportunities of the other spouse,
  • If the marriage was long-term and the spouse's age makes getting employment difficult.

The factors that are taken into consideration when determining maintenance are:

  1. The standard of living established during the marriage.
  2. The duration of the marriage.
  3. The age and earning ability of the spouse seeking maintenance.
  4. The ability of the spouse paying maintenance to meet his or her own needs.
  5. The comparative financial resources of both spouses.
  6. The contribution of the spouse seeking maintenance to the earning ability of the other spouse.
  7. The ability of both spouses to contribute to the educational cost of their mutual children.
  8. The time necessary for the spouse seeking maintenance to receive training to become employable.
  9. The effect of health insurance costs due to the dissolution.
[Based on Arizona Revised Statutes; Chapters 25, Title 319] SPOUSE'S NAME:

Upon request, he court shall order that party's requested former name be restored any time prior to signing the dissolution decree. [Based on Arizona Revised Statutes; Chapters 25, Title 325]

CHILD CUSTODY:

The court may order sole custody or joint custody. The court shall determine custody, either originally or on petition for modification, in accordance with the best interests of the child, based on the following factors:

  1. The wishes of the child's parent regarding custody.
  2. The wishes of the child.
  3. The interaction between the child and the parent, the child and the siblings or any other person who may significantly affect the best interest of the child.
  4. The child's adjustment to home, school and community.
  5. The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.
  6. Which parent will promote continued contact between the child and the other parent.
  7. Which parent has provided primary care for the child.
  8. Whether either parent was convicted of an act of false reporting of child abuse or neglect.
  9. Whether a parent was influenced or coerced into a custody decision. [Based on Arizona Revised Statutes; Chapters 25, Title 403 and 403.01]

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