Overview of Divorce in Arizona

The following is an overview of divorce in Arizona. Divorce in Arizona may be filed as either fault or no fault, and the state recognizes Covenant Marriages, with property divided according to the Community Property principle, and spouse and child support determined by a number of factors.

Residency and Filing Requirements

A party must be a resident of Arizona, or stationed in Arizona with the US Armed Forces, for at least 90 days prior to filing.

Grounds for Filing

A Petition for Dissolution of Marriage may be filed in Arizona as either Fault or No Fault. The ground for no-fault dissolution of marriage is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Arizona recognizes “Covenant Marriage” legally as a higher form of marriage.

Dissolution of a Covenant Marriage, may be filed if the respondent spouse has committed adultery, committed a felony, abandoned the matrimonial domicile for at least one year prior to filing, has physically or sexually abused the filer or a child or relative of either spouse, or has committed domestic violence, the spouses have been living separate and apart for at least two years prior to filing.

Property Distribution

Arizona recognizes the principle of "Community Property,” wherein Community property is property acquired during marriage. If the spouses cannot agree on the division of property, the court will divide it 50/50. The court will divide the property equally, although not necessarily in kind, and without regard to marital misconduct. Property acquired outside of Arizona will be considered community property within Arizona if it otherwise meets the conditions of Community Property. Creditors are not parties to your case, and therefore not bound by court orders or any agreements reached in the case.

Restoration or Name Change

Either party may request to have their former name restored if they changed it for the marriage.

Spousal Support

In some, but not all cases, temporary or permanent support may be awarded. This is either agreed to by both parties, or at the court’s discretion, and is decided on a case-by-case basis, weighing lack of sufficient property to provide for reasonable needs, a spouse’s inability to be self-sufficient, especially if child custody is a factor, the spouse’s contribution to educational opportunities for the other spouse, duration of marriage and age of spouses, among other factors, without regard to marital misconduct.

Counseling or Mediation Requirements

If both parties cannot agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court will hold a hearing and may assign counseling or a conciliation conference.

Child Custody and Support

If the spouses cannot agree on issues involving children, the court will establish custody at its discretion. It may order sole or joint custody, and will weigh several factors.

Arizona bases child support determinations on the Income Shares Model, determining the amount based on proportional income.

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