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Divorce Laws in Arizona

In Arizona, divorce is called “dissolution of marriage” and is not awarded to either party but, instead, changes the relationship. The courts can order couples who cannot agree to terms on their own to use Alternate Dispute Resolution which is a free service of the courts, similar to mediation. There is a 60 day waiting period for dissolution of marriage.

An annulment is fairly easy to obtain in Arizona, if both parties agree to it.

Arizona does not recognize common law marriage, and in such cases will address division of property and debt as a business partnership. If children are involved in the break-up of a non-married couple, a paternity action is required.

Residency and jurisdiction
At least one party must have been a resident of Arizona for 90 consecutive days prior to filing.

Fault or no fault and grounds for dissolution of marriage
Arizona only grants no fault dissolution of marriage. One or both parties must state that the marriage is irretrievably broken. This can be contested. If one party objects to the dissolution of marriage the court will determine whether or not the marriage is irretrievably broken, and may order a conciliation conference to allow the couple to attempt to solve their problems before ruling.

Division of property
Arizona is a community property state. Property is divided in half between spouses. Conduct not considered in property division. Retirement benefits are considered property, and the portion of retirement earned during the marriage is also split 50/50 between spouses, requiring a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.

Spousal Support
Arizona grants rehabilitative spousal support for a limited amount of time in order for disadvantaged spouses to “get back on their feet.”
 
Child Custody and Support
If children are involved, both parties are required to take parenting classes as a part of divorce. Arizona has created the Model Parenting Plan Guidelines, which are used as a basis for determining custody and visitation. Once custody and visitation orders are issued, there is a one-year waiting period before a modification can be requested. All child support payments are made by wage assignment which is similar to garnishment and withheld from pay. Payments are made through the Arizona Support Clearinghouse, not directly to the receiving spouse.

If you are considering or facing divorce in Arizona, contact an experienced Arizona divorce attorney today.

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Disclaimer: Divorce law information contained throughout this page is intended to generally inform you about divorce law in Arizona and introduce you to divorce lawyers throughout the U.S. The information regarding divorce and divorce law is not meant to be taken as legal advice. If you like to speak with an experienced divorce attorney, click on the link to your state to find an experienced divorce lawyer in your area for an initial consultation.
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