Arizona is a state where couples can get divorced even if one of the partners is not in agreement. This is called a no-fault divorce which ensures that one can get a divorce regardless of whether or not the spouse is agreeable to the divorce terms. However, if a couple has entered into a covenant marriage then they can get a divorce only in accordance with the Arizona law on covenant marriage. A covenant marriage requires the couple to declare publicly that they would seek divorce solely on the basis of proper grounds.
People wanting to get out of a marriage must never take a step without picking a suitable arizona divorce attorney. The complex family laws and procedures are a maze through which only a qualified attorney can help negotiate right from the initial steps to the subsequent process.
Filing the petition
The first step is filing a petition for dissolution of marriage in the family court. The law dictates that the petitioner must be residing in Arizona for a minimum duration of 90 days. The petitioner does not need to prove faults for divorce in Arizona but must impress upon the court that the marriage cannot be salvaged. The petitioner then needs to serve a petition to his/her spouse. The spouse is given a time period of 20 days to respond to the petition. In case the spouse is living out of state, he/she is given a month to respond to the petition.
Dissolution of marriage
If both the partners are in agreement regarding all the issues about divorce then they need to file a Consent Decree of Dissolution of Marriage with the court. This decree is signed by the judge to grant divorce.
In the event of the partners not agreeing to the terms of divorce, the case is committed to trial to sort out the various issues.
What are the common issues?
Division of property between the couple is a common cause of dispute. The law in Arizona divides properties into two categories called community and separate property. Community property is the property which was acquired by either husband or wife or both of them during the course of their marriage. Separate property is defined as the properties acquired before the marriage by either of the spouse. Community property is divided on a 50-50 basis while separate property cannot be divided.
The court decides whether or not one spouse is required to pay alimony to the other spouse on the basis of factors such as the inability of the spouse to be self sufficient, lack of income to meet reasonable needs and contribution to the educational or employment opportunities of the other spouse. The amount of alimony and the duration for which it must be paid is fixed by the court.
Custody of the child is another issue which is dealt by the court in accordance with the best interests of the child. The court may grant sole or joint legal custody and can also fix the time that each parent can spend with the child.
A good arizona divorce attorney ensures that the client’s interests are best served during the trial and negotiations for resolving the issues.