Arizonans who want a Arizona divorce need to file a “dissolution of marriage” proceeding in the State’s Superior Court. Arizona is a no fault divorce state. This means that a party does not have to allege wrongdoing to obtain a divorce. The Court need only find that the marriage is “irretrievably broken with no reasonable prospect of reconciliation” to grant a divorce. That means that there is no reasonable chance that the marriage will be able to survive. Only one party has to ask for the divorce to obtain it. The Arizona Court does offer free counseling for people who want to try to save the marriage.
The Court will ask if the parties have a covenant marriage in Arizona. That means that the parties engaged in a special agreement that they will not get a divorce except under certain circumstances.
One party must be a resident of Arizona for a minimum of 90 days before one can file divorce papers. A divorce is formally initiated when one spouse files a “petition for dissolution of marriage” with the Superior Court . The issues the Court will resolve, where applicable, are: division of property, division of debts, child custody and access, child support, spousal maintenance, and attorney’s fees and costs. The Court can also restore a maiden name.
If both spouses are in agreement on all issues, the divorce can be completed without going to court. If not, parties may need to consider other legal options to complete a divorce.
Mediation for an Arizona Divorce
Where there are unresolved issues, parties should consider family mediation to get the divorce finalized. Many people living in the state of Arizona don’t realize that Mediation is even an option. Most people think that they have to hire a lawyer to get divorced. This is not accurate. A growing number of Arizonans look to Mediation to get a divorce finalized. It is not only less expensive but, time effeciant and less stressful. Mediation can be completed in days rather than months or even a year that traditional litigation would require. In Mediation, parties agree to the terms rather than have a judge make a decision. The statistics show that when consensus agreements are reached, parties are more likely to follow them.
If you want to speak with a mediator that handles family law issues as a first step in completing your divorce, our office would be happy to speak with you.
This article is not intended as legal advice. It is for general information only. Consult with a legal professional before making legal decisions.
Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC
a Professional Limited Liability Company
8160 E. Butherus Dr., Suite #7
Scottsdale, AZ 85260