Arizona Legal Separation Laws
Legal Separation Laws in Arizona
Arizona legal separation laws are not much different than the divorce laws that exist in Arizona. We want to discuss the similarities, as well as the differences, between Arizona legal separation laws and Arizona divorce laws. We will also discuss the benefits and drawbacks of both a legal separation and a divorce, so you are more informed to make the best choice for your situation.
Similarities of Legal Separation Laws and Arizona Divorce Laws
Both legal separation cases and divorce cases are governed by the statutes set forth in Title 25 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. The court must divide all of your community property and debts, pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute Section 25-318. Pursuant to that same statute passed into law by the Arizona State Legislature, the court must also assign to each spouse all of his and her sole and separate property.
Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute Section 25-403, the court must enter child custody and parenting time orders which the judge believes is in the best interests of your children. You may submit an agreed upon parenting plan for the court’s approval.
You should know the court can reject your settlement relating to the children if he or she does not believe it is in the best interests of your children, which it rarely does. If you do not resolve issues relating to your children, you will be required to attend a trial after which the court will decide those matters for you.
Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute Sections 25-319 and 25-310, the court can enter orders for spousal maintenance and child support. The court will only order child support in an Arizona legal separation if the court finds the spouse seeking spousal maintenance is eligible to be awarded spousal maintenance in an Arizona legal separation case. The court, however, is required to enter child support orders in all cases.
Differences Between Arizona Legal Separation and Divorce Laws
The law in Arizona provides that you must be a resident of the State of Arizona for at least ninety days prior to filing a Petition for a Dissolution of Marriage. However, the Arizona legal separations laws in Title 25 does not have a ninety-day residency requirement for you to file a legal separation in Arizona. As a result, you can file for a legal separation in Arizona the same day you become a resident of Arizona.
Another difference is that Arizona legal separation laws do not restore you to the status of a single person because your marriage is not dissolved. You are, therefore, still married and cannot remarry until you later convert your legal separation into a divorce in Arizona.
Chris Hildebrand wrote this article about legal separation to ensure everyone has access to information about legal separation laws in Arizona. Chris is a divorce and legal separation attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a divorce should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and actually caring about what his clients are going through in a legal separation.
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