Arizona Divorce Laws

There are a number of divorce laws in Arizona that the Court and parties are to rely on in the Arizona divorce process.  There are statutes (called the “Arizona Revised Statutes” or “A.R.S.”), which are laws created by the Arizona legislature.  The laws regarding a dissolution of marriage are set forth in Title 25 of the Statutes.  That Title also addresses paternity actions, separation actions, grandparents/non-parents actions and modification and other post-decree actions.  The most widely referenced statutes in a divorce action are:  A.R.S. § 25-318 (property and debt division); 25-319 (spousal maintenance); 25-320 (child support); and 25-324 (attorney’s fees and costs).

Another type of law is called case law, which are decisions issued by the Arizona Court of Appeals or Arizona Supreme Court on issues raised in family law cases.  Case law assists in the interpretation of and development of the law.  Finally, the parties must follows rules dictating proper procedures for court, which are called the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure. Parties who choose to represent themselves are expected to know the laws and rules and are held to the same standard as attorneys.

Parties who do not want to go through contested litigation or do not want to worry about properly submitting documentation to the Court should consider mediation.  Mediation is a process in which parties resolve their issues with the aid of a neutral party skilled in conflict resolution.  Parties to a family law mediation can rely on the mediator to prepare documents for the parties and make sure the documents submitted to the Court are procedurally proper.  People who are interested in mediation should make sure the mediator they speak to offers this service.  The mediator can also guide the participants to a resolution on all necessary areas and assist the parties in, for example, calculating support.   The mediator is neutral and does not act in the role of an attorney (an advocate).  However, parties are free to consult with attorneys within the mediation process.

Alona M. Gottfried is a family law mediator and attorney in Arizona.  If you have questions about mediation, 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

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