Arizona Arizona

Divorce Law Guide

Arizona Divorce Overview

Residency Requirement
Living Separate & Apart
Processing Time
Filing Fee
3 months
150 days

The facts about divorce in Arizona

Divorce, or dissolution of marriage, is the legal process of severing a marriage contract, which is overseen by a court of law in the state in which one or both of the divorcing spouses live. The process for getting a divorce and acceptible grounds for divorce vary from state to state.

In Arizona, a divorce can be completed on average in a minimum of 150 days, with court fees of $321.00. The state has divorce residency requirements that require the spouse filing for the divorce to have lived in Arizona for a minimum of three months.

On this page, you can learn about Arizona's grounds for divorce, how the divorce process works, and about other parts of the divorce process, such as Arizona alimony calculation, the property division process and more.

Arizona Divorce Law Summary

How Does a Divorce Proceeding Work?

The state of Arizona has an interesting approach to divorce law that it defines two different types of marriage for its proceedings. It recognizes a standard marriage and a covenant marriage.

A covenant marriage is a marriage that requires a couple to attend premarital counseling sessions that emphasize on the nature, purpose, and responsibility of marriage and must sign a document declaring that the wedding is for life. These types of marriages can only be dissolved by a court either for adultery; a spouse had committed a felony, substance abuse, sexual abuse, and living separately for a certain amount of time specified by law. For Arizona, it is two years. Covenant marriage is only recognized in three states: Arizona, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

Once the type of marriage is decided, the couple should file within the appropriate superior court of their county a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. After the paperwork is submitted, from this point on the Court clerk will handle the paperwork and lawyers by letting you all know the dates and times you need to be present or if there is anything unique or extra you have to do for your particular case.

Arizona Divorce Guide - Frequently Asked Questions

In state of Arizona a number of factors are taken into account when ending a marriage.

1. Arizona Grounds for Divorce FAQ

Is Arizona a no-fault divorce state?

Arizona allows no-fault divorces, which means that a divorce is granted without establishing the fault of either spouse for causing the divorce. Grounds for a no-fault divorce in Arizona may be "irreconcilable differences", or similar grounds.

The state of Arizona is exclusively a no-fault divorce state, which means that the only grounds for divorce offered on divorce applications are considered no-fault.

Does Arizona allow at-fault divorces?

In addition to no-fault grounds for divorce, Arizona is a fault divorce state which provides the option to file for a traditional at-fault divorce. Suing for an at-fault divorce alleges that the filer's spouse is the cause of the divorce due to engaging in one of Arizona's at-fault divorce grounds, such as adultery, abuse, or insanity.

In some cases, an at-fault divorce is pursued because it can entitle the suing spouse to a greater share of marital property or even punitive alimony payments if their partner's fault is proven. If their spouse contests these allegations, they may be challenged in court, which can lead to a lengthy and expensive legal process.

Does the state of Arizona allow incompatibility as grounds for divorce?

Yes, Arizona does allow incompatibility to be used as grounds for having a divorce.

Can you get a divorce in Arizona for living separate and apart?

In divorce law, "living seperate and apart" refers to married spouses who are living separate from each other, not engaging in a traditional marital relationship, and do not intend to repair the marriage.

Arizona does not allow a divorce to be granted solely on the grounds of living seperate and apart from your spouse. You must instead file for divorce under one of Arizona's accepted grounds for divorce.

2. Arizona Divorce Process FAQ

Does state of Arizona allow legal separation?

Legal separation (otherwise known as "judicial separation") is a legal process that enables spouses to be de facto separated while remaining legally married.

In some cases, Arizona will grant a judicial separation court order to a married couple who wishes to live separately. This order may settle issues generally handled in a divorce such as property division and alimony. A legal separation may be followed up by a full divorce, or the spouses may later reconcile and end the separation while remaining legally married.

What's the difference between a divorce and an annulment in Arizona?

While a divorce is the process of exiting a legally valid marriage, an annulment is the process of rendering a marriage null and void. An annulment makes it legally as if a marriage never took place to begin with.

Generally, annulment is used to conclude a marriage that should not have been legally recognized in the first place, such as a marriage where one of the spouses was unable to consent (by virtue of being underage, due to mental incapacity, or even intoxication), a marriage that was entered into under duress or via fraudulent means, or when one of the spouses was already legally married.

How long do I have to live in in the state of Arizona to get a divorce?

The state of Arizona requires that spouses suing for divorce to have lived in the state for a minimum of three months prior to filing divorce papers. Otherwise, Arizona courts are not considered to have jurisdiction over the divorce case.

What is the filing fee for a divorce in Arizona?

The court fees for filing the paperwork for a basic divorce in a Arizona court is $321.00. However, the total costs for a divorce can be much higher - especially in the case of a contested divorce, where attorney fees and mediation costs average from $15,000 to $20,000 or more.

How long does it take to get a divorce in Arizona?

If the process moves along without holdups, the paperwork for a divorce in Arizona can be processed in a minimum of 150 days. However, if the spouses are not in agreement about the divorce process, a contested divorce can take significantly longer.

3. Arizona General Divorce FAQ

Can my spouse stop me from getting a divorce?

Even if one spouse is opposed to getting a divorce, they cannot stop their partner from filing for and receiving a divorce in Arizona. While filing a non-contested joint petition for divorce speeds up the process, either spouse can file for divorce individually at any time.

Arizona permits spouses to sue for an at-fault divorce, and in this case their partner can contest the allegations in court. A non-fault petition for divorce, however, can generally not be contested by an unwilling spouse in Arizona.

Does Arizona have any limitations on remarriage after a divorce?

Arizona has no mandatory waiting period between the finalization of a divorce and either of the ex-spouses getting remarried. Remarriage following a divorce may affect the continued payment of alimony.

What is the divorce rate in Arizona?

According to the most recent CDC study, the yearly divorce rate in Arizona is 11 per 1,000 total population. The national divorce rate is 6.9 per 1,000 total population. Various studies suggest that nationwide, 30% to 50% of all marriages end in divorce.

Does Arizona recognize same sex divorces?

Arizona recognizes both same sex marriages and same sex divorces. The process of getting a seme-sex divorce is the same as a heterosexual divorce.

| State Law Official Text

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