Divorce & Separation

Are you getting divorced or considering getting a legal separation?
Worried about your children?
Hiring a family law legal paraprofessional or attorney helps you protect your assets, property, and decisions regarding your children.

Basic Considerations in Divorce

Divorce, also known as a dissolution of marriage, is the restoring of husband and wife to single persons. Divorce involves the division of assets and debts, as well as determining a parenting time schedule with your children, child support and even a potential for an award of spousal maintenance to one spouse.

Contested or Uncontested: An uncontested divorce is where both parties are in full agreement as to their division of assets and debts, whether they will have joint legal-decision making (custody) or sole legal-decision making and their parenting time schedule, child support, spousal maintenance, etc. A contested divorce is where both parties do not agree and a Court will determine the issues they do not agree on.

Residency: To file for a divorce in Arizona, you must meet the necessary residency requirements. You or your spouse have maintained a residence in Arizona for ninety days prior to filing for a petition for dissolution of marriage.

Annulment: An annulment is rare; however, some situations warrant the need to void the marriage. This legal issue is complex. Most people will not qualify. It is best to contact an attorney if you feel your marriage is void for fraud, duress, or any other reason.

Property division: As a community property state, the State of Arizona requires that all property acquired during a marriage be divided equitably, which often means equally (50/50). 

Divorce with Children

Child custody, now known as legal decision-making and parenting time, is the most pressing concern on a parent’s mind during divorce and paternity proceedings. The different facets of custody can be granted to either parent or to both.

Legal decision-making involves decisions about the child’s welfare (including educational, religious and medical decisions) whereas parenting time involves the child’s living arrangements.

If you decide to have joint decision-making, you must sign a parenting plan, in accordance with Arizona law. A parenting plan must include:

  • Provisions for how the parent will be involved in the caring for the child
  • How the major decisions will be made together.
  • Information regarding a residential plan.
  • Method of resolving disputes.
  • Provision for periodic review of the parenting plan.
  • Statement that says both parties understand that “joint” does not necessarily mean equal parenting time.

Ready to speak with an expert?

Book a Consultation