How Long Does a Legal Separation Take in Arizona
Arizona Legal Separation
When it becomes apparent marriage is ending, you have two choices: divorce or legal separation. Getting a divorce is the last resort for married couples leading many to opt for legal separation in Arizona as the first step when they fear the marriage may not work out. Many of those people want to know how long does a legal separation take in Arizona.
A legal separation is often viewed as a trial run for divorce. (Divorce may occur after legal separation, but it is not automatic. It is a separate action).
A legal separation is also an option for couples that do not meet Arizona’s residency requirements for divorce. A common question from individuals who do not meet Arizona’s minimum residency requirements for divorce is, “How long does it take to complete a legal separation?”
While Arizona divorce law requires that at least one spouse have a minimum of 90 days of residency in the state before the filing of the divorce petition, a legal separation just requires that at least one spouse resides in the state of Arizona at the time of the filing.
There is no period of time required for Arizona residency before becoming eligible to file for a legal separation. So, the legal separation is a viable alternative for couples interested in ending their marriage, but who have not lived in Arizona long enough to obtain a divorce.
Grounds for Legal Separation in Arizona
Grounds for filing for legal separation are the same in Arizona for both legal separation and divorce. The marriage must be declared “irretrievably broken.” Arizona law also allows couples to file for a legal separation if they desire to live separately, but the court will not order legal separation unless both spouses are in agreement. In comparison, the court will grant a divorce upon the request of one spouse if they can prove that the marriage is broken; even if the other spouse is opposed to the divorce.
To seek legal separation from a spouse, one of the spouses would need to file a Petition for Legal Separation. The petition includes basic info about the parties involved as well as details related to property, finances and minor children involved. When a legal separation is in place, either party may file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage at any time (as long as minimum residency requirements are met).
If you have questions about how long does a legal separation take in Arizona, you should seriously consider contacting the attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC. Our Arizona legal separation and family law attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience successfully representing clients in legal separation and family law cases.
Our family law firm has earned numerous awards such as US News and World Reports Best Arizona Family Law Firm, US News and World Report Best Divorce Attorneys, “Best of the Valley” by Arizona Foothills readers, and “Best Arizona Divorce Law Firms” by North Scottsdale Magazine.
Call us today at (480)305-8300 or reach out to us through our appointment scheduling form to schedule your personalized consultation and turn your legal separation or family law case around today.
Arizona Family Law Attorneys in Scottsdale and Tucson Arizona
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- How to Start a Legal Separation in Arizona
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Chris Hildebrand, an Arizona licensed divorce attorney, wrote this article about how long does a legal separation take in Arizona to ensure everyone has access to information about legal separation laws in Arizona.
Chris is a family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards and has written and/or contributed to published articles on divorce and family law in Arizona.