AZ Legal Separation

In an AZ divorce action and an Arizona legal separation action, the Court will separate the parties’ assets and debts, address a request for spousal maintenance as well as any request for award of attorney’s fees and costs.  If the parties have minor children, the Court will also address the issues of custody, parenting time and child support.

The big difference between an Arizona divorce and an AZ legal separation action is that the parties are still married at the end of the legal separation action.

The following are the two other major differences:

1. To file an AZ legal separation action, one party need only be living in AZ (or stationed in AZ, if in the armed services) at the time of filing the action.  To get a divorce in AZ, one party must have had to have live in Arizona for 90 days or more before being allowed to file for divorce.
2. While one party has to allege that his/her marriage is:  “irretrievably broken with no reasonable prospect to reconcile” to get a divorce, one need only allege that one party desires to reside separate and apart from the other party to get a legal separation.

For both an AZ legal separation and a dissolution action, the parties can agree to use a mediator instead of litigation to resolve the matter.  With a family law mediator, the parties retain one mediator (a neutral party trained in conflict resolution) to help the parties reach agreements and to take care of all of the necessary paperwork.  Mediation is generally much less expensive, time consuming, stressful and uncertain than litigation.

Alona M. Gottfried is a family law mediator and attorney in Arizona.  If you have questions about mediation or legal separation in general, she can be reached at: 480-998-1500 or  This is a general interest article only and is not intended to be legal advice.  See a legal professional before making legal decisions.

Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC
8160 E. Butherus Dr., Suite #7
Scottsdale, AZ 85260


  1. Kim Loveall says:

    so what does this normally cost, we have been seperated for four yrs and there is no proplerty no nothing to divide no nothing except a 16 yr old that he has custody of and i see whenever I want, no child support for no alimony

  2. Kim,

    If you mediate your divorce or legal separation, it generally costs between approximately $1,000.00 and $2,000.00, plus the Court filing fees. The cost varies, depending on how easy or difficult the issues are to resolve. I would be happy to answer your questions if you want to call me or schedule a consultation. My phone number is: 480-998-1500. I sent you an email answering your question as well.


    Alona M. Gottfried

  3. Angela Gibbs says:

    Can I go through a legal separation while having a lien on my home and waiting for a bankruptcy to finalize?

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Alona M. Gottfried, Esq.
8160 E Butherus Dr, Suite #7 Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Phone: (480) 776-8271