Untying the Knot: Divorce in Phoenix

Posted by on Oct 15, 2014 in Family | 0 comments

It is generally much easier to tie the marriage knot than it is to untie it, and that is true for divorce in Phoenix. Arizona is a no-fault divorce state but it is also a covenant marriage state (one of three in the US which also includes Louisiana and Arkansas), which means that you don’t need grounds to file for the dissolution of a non-covenant marriage, but you do need one such as adultery or abandonment to dissolve a covenant marriage. A covenant marriage is a special kind of legal tie that a couple can choose when getting married. Less than 1% of Arizona marriages are covenant marriages.

Divorce law requires that one spouse is a resident of Arizona for at least 90 days before the petition can be filed. If there are no hindrances to the petition, it will still take 60 days before the court can hand down a divorce decree.

A divorce in Phoenix means that the property acquired by the spouses during the marriage will be divided equally between them because Arizona is a community property state. Assets and properties acquired before marriage and after the divorce are considered separate. Community property includes personal and real estate property, income, debts, and other financial obligations. Marital misconduct i.e. adultery has no impact on property division.

Alimony is not automatic; when petitioned, the court may grant spousal support if the petitioner can prove a lack of self-sufficiency, the needs of a child make employment impracticable, the petitioner supported the spouse’s education, or the marriage lasted 10 or more years. The amount will be determined by the court based on the circumstances.

Child support and custody is perhaps the most emotional and personal aspect of divorce in any state. In Arizona, the court will decide if one parent will have sole physical custody or if both parents will have joint physical custody. One parent will typically be required to pay child support (which the court may order to be garnished from the parent’s wages) until the child turns 18 if there is no significant physical or mental disability, but the court will take into account a number of factors before a decision is made.

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