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Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce in Arizona

Posted on : May 12, 2017, By:  Christopher Hildebrand
Difference Between a Divorce and Legal Separation In Arizona

Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce in Arizona

Are you wondering what’s the difference between legal separation and divorce in Arizona? As family law attorneys, we are asked about the difference between divorce and legal separation and divorce in Arizona. The reality is that there are more similarities than differences between a divorce and a legal separation in Arizona. This article will provide you with insight on the similarities, as well as the differences, between a legal separation and a divorce in Arizona.

Differentiating Legal Separation and Divorce

It is not uncommon for couples to find themselves facing difficulties in their marriage that lead to one or both parties believing it would be more beneficial for the partnership to end. While divorce is most likely the first thing that comes to mind, couples have another option they can utilize to make the process easier. Legal separation is a commonly used solution for couples seeking a resolution to their marital qualms without completely dissolving the marriage.

Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce in Arizona.

Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce in Arizona.

If you are considering putting an end to your marriage, you may want to weigh the options of both legal separation and divorce, figuring out which one best fits your needs. Family law matters like divorce are complicated and pose many potential problems, which is why having an expert to guide you through the process is highly beneficial. If you and your spouse find yourself in a separation or divorce situation, call the team at Hildebrand Law for help.

Legal Separation in Arizona

A legal separation is different from a divorce in that it does not fully dissolve the relationship of the two parties involved. Instead, obtaining a separation means that, while the legal status of the marriage is left in place, the involved parties are no longer part of a joint marital community. This means that any debts, purchases, earnings, or other similar acquisitions belong solely to the person to whom they belong, but the status of the marriage is not terminated.

Separation is often considered the minor version of a legal end to a relationship, where divorce is the end of the line, both literally and metaphorically. Legal separation comes in varying shapes and sizes, ranging from trial separation to full legal separation. A trial separation is suitable for couples who are unsure of their circumstances and want to experiment with the idea of a legal separation or divorce without making such a move official too hastily.

There are several reasons why a couple may elect to go the route of separation rather than divorce, which we will discuss in another entry. However, it is not unheard of for spouses to make the best of an unfortunate situation by capitalizing on bypassing the divorce option. Divorce, on the other hand, is the complete termination of the marriage. In no capacity are spouses still connected regarding belongings, debts, and other financial obligations that are incurred following the end of the marriage.

However, a divorce can mean other issues will arise such as alimony and spousal support and other past financial matters. The reasons spouses will opt for divorce over a legal separation can vary, but often boil down to irreconcilable differences. Rather than being legally obligated to each other in a minimal capacity, a divorce gives the parties the ability to completely be free of obligations, except for things like court-ordered alimony or child custody questions if the spouses have children together.

Jennifer, thank you for being my attorney. I could not have been more pleased with the outcome of my family court hearing. Everything you have done for me throughout this case reflects in the final ruling of the judge. You helped me keep my head together and taught me a lot about myself as a person. I learned so much about my life from observing and listening to you. I will take all the advice you gave me to continue taking responsibility for my choices, continue to put the kids' needs first, and always stay truthful. Your diligence, dedication, and persistence in my case made what seemed impossible, possible. You are a wonderful person and an amazing attorney and I am stronger and more confident because of you.
A Google User
A Google User
20:31 20 Sep 17
I just want to again thank the Firm for working with me all that it has. I could not have done anything without everyone's assistance. You, Chris and Stacey have been and continue to provide me with compassion and hard work towards my case. Also a very special thanks to Kip for taking my case in the beginning. Also continued support from him and his dedication to providing me with his expertise in this matter.
A Google User
A Google User
21:41 07 Nov 17
After interviewing several law firms, I came across Jennifer Shick, and her firm, who I hired to represent me for my Family Court case. Jennifer has extensive knowledge of the law and is determined to bring the truth to every issue involved within the case. Throughout my case, Jennifer was prepared meticulously as well as went above and beyond all of my expectations. Even when the other party tried to differ from the truth, lie to the Judge, and turn situations around, Jennifer remained attentive and provided substantial evidence to show the judge the facts as well as the proof to support what was the best interests of my children. Additionally, Jennifer helped me endure many difficult experiences, situations and inspired me to remain positive throughout the entirety of my case. Her kindness, compassion, and professionalism helped me through very difficult times and made the process feel a thousand times lighter on my shoulders. She truly has my children and my best interest at heart and I trust her perspective as well as her honesty on each and every aspect of my case. She lessened the burden on my shoulders and even when I felt like the case was not going to go in my favor, Jennifer was open-minded and reassured me that the Judge would, in fact, see the truth, which he did and the case went in my favor. After nine months of court, everything finally came together. I cannot declare how much Jennifer has been an outstanding attorney. She addressed each and every issue with diligence, she cares about her clients and their families. Jennifer genuinely cares about her clients and her dedication to the details of the case was remarkable. Overall, I am extremely pleased with Jennifer’s services and I am truly thankful that I was so blessed to have her represent my children and me. I highly recommend Jennifer as one of the best attorneys in Arizona and if the situation ever arises, I will definitely have her represent my children and me again.
Google User
Google User
14:58 04 Oct 17
Dear Stacey and Kip, How can I ever thank you enough for helping me through the most difficult time in my life? I couldn't put into words my heartfelt gratefulness. You both were so compassionate and professional at every given moment throughout this process with me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You helped me to regain my freedom.
A Google User
A Google User
16:03 22 Nov 17
I was a client of Attorney Kevin Park for the dissolution of a divorce in 2016. And since I had never had the need to hire an attorney before for any purpose, I was somewhat apprehensive of the process. But the very calm and professional demeanor of Mr. Park eased my fears. He adeptly answered all my questions and I clearly knew the process and what to expect. And the skilled manner he communicated with opposing counsel was perfect. When it came down to negotiating with my spouse’s counsel, I knew I had selected the best attorney for my situation. What I noticed and appreciated was that he was using just the right amount of pressure with opposing counsel as was necessary. If you find yourself in this situation, you will want a seasoned professional like Mr. Park on your side. I'm very grateful that he was my attorney and not the opposition!
A Google User
A Google User
22:14 28 Jun 17
Chris is a smart and aggressive attorney for his clients. Chris always tries to reach a fair settlement of his cases. I’ve represented clients when Chris was the opposing counsel and while he is professional and amicable to work with, he does not back off on what he needs to do for his client
A Google User
A Google User
18:16 18 Sep 17
Kevin Park of Hildebrand Law was just what I needed for my divorce. He was very approachable and personable. He was quick to recognize what I needed and provided it quickly and efficiently. I hope to never need a divorce lawyer again, but if I know anyone else who does, I will definitely recommend Kevin.
A Google User
A Google User
19:22 23 Aug 17
I feel that Tracey Van Wickler is certainly one of the best family lawyers around. She is logical, intelligent, and truly cares. Tracey always does what is in the clients best interest, does it well, timely and with integrity. She is good at keeping her clients informed as to what is going on and clear in her communication both written and verbally. I have recommended Tracey to other people and will continue to recommend her. I recommended Tracey to someone who was having issues with their ex-wife and his response was, “I know how good she is because I went up against her and she ate me for lunch”. This same person was so impressed with her, he even recommended her to someone else, WOW, that is impressive! I am exceptionally happy with her attention to detail, her ability to explain things in ways that are easy to understand, as well as her ability to keep everyone focused on the most important things. I would recommend Tracey to anyone who may be in need of her services.
A Google User
A Google User
17:44 23 Jun 16

Similarity of a Legal Separation and a Divorce in Arizona

While the differences between divorce and separation are staggering, both avenues will share common ground in their aftermath. Like any family law situation, shared property and lives bring with them plenty of outcomes. For example, child custody issues are obviously going to be prevalent when it comes to a legal separation as they would in a divorce. A legal separation means the parents are not living in the same home, so the care of the children must be delegated accordingly.

How Legal Separation Differs from Divorce in Arizona.

How Legal Separation Differs from Divorce in Arizona.

Alimony and spousal support are also prevalent in both separation and divorce, as the separation can mean one spouse is unable to support their way of life immediately following the filing and fulfillment. Many issues will present themselves in both divorce proceedings and legal separation, so if you have any questions, it is best to seek out a legal professional with family law expertise to guide you through.

The processes involving legal separation and divorce are complicated and have the potential to be utterly confusing. Not only do they have a lot of similarities, but the differences are staggering and important. Divorce is the complete termination of marriage, leaving no connection between the spouses, save for things like children and jointly incurred debts. Legal separation, on the other hand, is a way for spouses to keep certain facets of their relationship intact while not being legally bound.

Both of these options have aspects they cannot avoid, most obviously including child custody and child support, as well as the question of alimony or spousal maintenance payments. While unfortunate, sometimes the best answer for both spouses involved in such a case is to end the marriage and find a way to move on in their lives.

If you find yourself facing a difficult situation such as this, don’t face it alone. Trust legal professionals with years of family law experience to guide you through the processes and get the most desirable outcome possible. At Hildebrand Law, we provide Arizona residents with some of the finest legal services around, so get in touch and see how we can help you today. If you have a question about divorce or legal separation in Arizona, please call to speak to one of our experienced Scottsdale and Phoenix Arizona divorce attorneys at (480)947-4339.



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