Across the nation, couples are petitioning for divorce on a daily basis. Each state has its own unique grounds by which a dissolution of marriage may be granted by the appropriate presiding court. If you or someone you know is seeking a divorce, sufficient proof to the court that the marriage warrants a dissolution must be presented to the court. The appropriate and legal grounds will be ones that the parties agree upon and can prove or, alternatively, which the filing spouse wishes to put forth in court.

Divorce Basics

A divorce, or dissolution of marriage, is a court proceeding used to end a marriage through a court order. The person who initiates the divorce is known as the petitioner, while the other person is deemed the respondent. Arizona law requires a residency requirement of at least 90 days before a person, or their spouse can file for divorce. If one of the spouses does not agree to the dissolution, he or she may request a reconciliation meeting with the court. If this is done, the divorce process will be put on pause for up to 60 days while this meeting occurs. If no resolution results, the proceeding with move forward.

If a divorce decree is issued, the following will be addressed: the termination of the marriage; custody, parenting time and support of minor children, if any; spousal maintenance, if any; division of property acquired during the marriage, and what property was owned prior to the property; responsibility of debts incurred during the marriage, and debts owed prior to the marriage; responsibility of attorneys’ fees; and the restoration of the last name of a requesting spouse, if necessary.

Fault & No-Fault Divorces

Arizona allows for two types of divorces: fault and no-fault. No-fault divorces simply require that one or both parties demonstrate that the marital relationship is irretrievably broken. If the marriage is a covenant marriage – one that Arizona recognizes as a higher form of marriage – then an at-fault divorce is appropriate. The possible grounds for dissolution of a covenant marriage include:

  • Abandonment
  • Imprisonment
  • Adultery
  • Sexual and/or physical abuse
  • Drug and/or alcohol abuse
  • The spouses unanimously agree to a dissolution
  • The spouses have been living separate and apart, continuously and without reconciliation, for at least the prior two years
  • The spouses have been living separate and apart, continuously and without reconciliation, for at least one year from the date that a legal decree of separation was entered

Legal Help in Tempe

If you or someone you know is going through a difficult time and divorce seems inevitable, contact an experienced Arizona divorce lawyer, by calling 480-345-2652, for assistance in protecting your interests during this challenging period. An attorney at the Law Office of Ronald L. Kossack, in Phoenix, is prepared to assist you today.