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

  • Can the petitioner file for covenant marriage
  • THE JUDGE HANDELING MY DIVORCE HAS TAKEN THE ISSUE UNDER ADVISEMENT IN REGARDS TO SOME MONEY I WANT THAT MY MOM IN LAW HAS FROM OUR INCOME TAX RETURN, HOW LONG DOES THE JUDGE HAVE BEFORE HE HAS TO ENTER A DECIOSSION OF HOW TO DIVIDE THE MONEY BETWEEN MY X AND I, OR WHO WILL GET THE MONEY? ITS BEEN OVER ONE MONTH NOW AND I HAVE NOT GOTTEN THE DIVORCE DECREE IN THE MAIL. WE ALREADY HAD THE TRIAL, ALL I AM WAITING ON IS THIS ISSUE UNDER ADVISEMENT. DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW LONG THIS WILL TAKE OR THE LEGAL TIME LIMIT FOR THIS? THANKS.
  • the father of my children, my husband, lives in Phoenix, AZ. he no longer wanted us. no blames that on adhd he has. since may 25 our two sons and i moved to S.C. now my husband says he wants his children back. am i able to file for divorce in AZ even though i now live in S.C.?
  • Is there specific paper I need to move out of state after a divorce where I have received sole custody of the children
  • I am currently covered by my spouses insurance coverage and our divorce has not been filed yet. ARS 20-1377 and 20-1408 state that I may continue to be covered under his health insurance policy. I have contacted the health care company and NO ONE is able to assist me with this. I've looked online for answers and there are none. How to I apply for a conversion policy?
  • Where can I find a divorce packet for a covenant marriage?
  • I have been unable to find and secure any legal representation throughout out entire divorce and I have paid dearly for it. I live on a fixed disability income and cannot afford to pay for services. I have gone through local channels such as AZ211, AZLAW.COM & COMMUNITY LEGAL SERVICES twice and I am still not represented. Any help would be more than appreciated! Thank you, Diana Berne
  • Our divorce was granted 09/26/06. As part of the agreement, I was supposed to pay my husband $35,000 to buy him out of a rental house we co-own with my parents. He refuses to take the money and I am at a loss as to what to do. He now says he wants the house, but has done nothing to procure financing to buy out me and my parents. Do I go to court and petition them to enforce the court order or do I sue him for non-compliance? The property agreement was "not-merged" and I have been advised to sue. How do I do that?
  • WHERE CAN I GET DIVORCE PAPERWORK ONLINE.
  • We live in Mohave County. I want to move back to PA without my husband. Do I file for a legal separation or file for divorce? We own a home in both our names. The car is in my name first but I would not be able to afford it. We both get SS and he has a pension.

STORIES

  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .
  • Age discrimination in the workplace. . .
  • 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
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
    Link

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