Divorce & Annulment Article


Divorce in Arizona

Only the court can legally end a marriage. However, spouses are free to agree to as many terms of the divorce as possible. Court services are available in several counties to assist in reaching agreements about such matters as parenting time and custody of children. Because agreements between spouses leave fewer issues for the court to decide, the result often is more satisfying to the people involved and may speed the process of concluding the court case.

If you have children and issues of child custody or parenting time are involved, other information is provided on this website under Child Custody and Visitation and Child Support. When seeking a divorce and a party has requested that the Superior Court determine custody, specific parenting time or child support, parents of minor children are required by state law (section 25-351 et seq. Arizona Revised Statutes) to attend an education class. Information about the Parent Education Class is available on this web site under the subtopic Other Family Issues.

What is divorce?
Divorce is a court process to legally end a marriage. In Arizona a divorce is called a "dissolution of marriage." In addition to ending the marriage, a divorce may also deal with how property and debts of the spouses are divided between them and whether one spouse should pay support (alimony) to the other. If children are involved, a divorce also resolves custody, parenting time and child support issues.

What is a divorce "Decree?"
The Decree is the final order of the court legally ending the marriage. Spouses are not "divorced" until the court grants the divorce and the Decree is signed by the judge. The Decree may also contain other orders deciding how the spouses' property and debts will be divided and what financial support, if any, will be paid by one spouse to the other. If children are involved, the Decree also will provide for custody, parenting time and child support.

Where do I get a divorce?
In Arizona, only the Superior Court can grant a divorce. To get a divorce, one spouse must start a court case in the Superior Court. Although the Superior Court has a facility in each Arizona county, a court case to end a marriage must be started in the county where the person requesting the divorce lives.

Who can start a divorce case?
In Arizona, either spouse can ask the court for a divorce. A divorce is not awarded to either spouse; rather, it simply changes the status of the marriage relationship.

When can I start a divorce case?
Before starting the court case, either the husband or wife must have lived in Arizona for at least 90 days or have been a member of the armed forces stationed in Arizona for at least 90 days. Unless Arizona was the last state where you lived together with your spouse, issues regarding custody of children may require a longer residence time in order to deal with those issues.

How do I need to start a divorce case?
Unlike some other states, for most marriages Arizona does not require that one of the spouses prove blame or responsibility in order to end the marriage. Under Arizona law, the only question for the court is whether the marriage is "irretrievably broken," meaning that there is no reasonable chance that the spouses want to keep the marriage together. If you have a covenant marriage (see Covenant Marriage under the subtopic Other Family Issues), however, under state law the court cannot grant a divorce unless certain things such as adultery, abandonment, physical abuse or regular substance abuse are proven or unless both spouses agree that the marriage should end. (The reasons for ending a covenant marriage are listed in section 25-903, Arizona Revised Statutes.)


Comments:

On 11/1/07
A said
i have not seen my "husband" for 5 years and we had a child . i now want to get re married . the only thing i know of my "husband" is that he may be in california. i have not had contact with him for 5 years how can i get a divorce?

On 9/14/07
Curt said
I am just starting the divorce process and representing myself. My wife and i are interested in creating our own "joint custody agreement" including support and visitation to submit with paperwork. where can we find a draft? any ideas

On 8/31/07
gloria said
I was divorced in 1978 and he was order to pay child surport and I got half of our property we where married in oklahoma I was from Phx. He never paid anything not one cent now he owns a house in Ok. What ca I do to get whats owed to us, being poor.

On 8/22/07
sean said
MY EX- WIFE FILED FOR DIVORCE AND GOT A DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST ME, NOW I FIND OUT THAT WE MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN MARRIED IN THE FIRST PLACE; CAN I FIGHT THE DEFAULT JUDGMENT??

On 8/9/07
Claudette said
I filed a divorce in Phoenix, Az. I don't know if it became final or not. My husband was suppose to pay for it.

View all Comments

QUESTIONS

  • If I am married to an Illegal Alien, am I legally married and if he is in Mexico and not coming back, How do I divorce him?
  • My husband and I have been married 30 years. In the divorce papers he filed I am to receive nothing. I want to fight for spousal maintenance. I only work part time and have for 20 years. I have osteo arthritis in my knees and it is difficult to for me to get around. What are my rights? Also, all the stress he has put me under made me have a minor heart attack a few months ago. What about medical. I know when the divorce is final it ends. I can't get it through my job. It's too expensive. What are my rights?
  • how do you divorce an Alzheimers patient?
  • I am an American citizen and got married in India. I been staying away from my wife for almost 2 years. To file for divorce do I have to file in India or here to be valid?
  • My husband is incarcerated and we have two children. I am in the process of submitting my petition for a dissolution of marriage and noticed we are required to complete a parenting class. Is there a waiver for a parent that is incarcerated or any other way this class can be completed by him?
  • Is there a form for community property assets?
  • Where can I find covenant divorce packet to file for divorce
  • Was married in VA and Nikki's recently found out that my husband is still married to one of his previous wives in VA. Can I get an annulment here on the grounds for bigamy and fraud?
  • Igot marry like 2years ago andhe just useme to Clem mykids he got 8000.00 eight thousand back we where to gather for 1 mouth can u. Help me feel free call me 6026722595 Erica thanks
  • Hello. I am finally attempting to get a divorce from my husband. I am from WA State and fled to get away from him and his family who were threatening my children and I. We have one small child together. When he was a child his mom changed his last name, not legally from his birth name to her maiden name. And we were married with her maiden name, not the name on his birth certificate. My question is does this make our marriage legal?

STORIES

  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .
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OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
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    866-553-0893
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