A married person in Arizona can file for legal separation as long as both individuals agree and as long as at least one of them lives in the state. If either party does not agree to the legal separation, then the court will order dissolution of the marriage instead. As an experienced Phoenix legal separation attorney, I can listen to the facts of your case and provide additional guidance on whether a legal separation or a divorce is best in your situation.
LEGAL SEPARATION IN ARIZONA
Men’s Legal Separation Attorney
Frequently Asked Questions
Arizona has both non-covenant marriage and covenant marriage. In a non-covenant marriage, no specific reason, except the wishes of one spouse, needs to be given for a legal separation.
A legal separation is a legal process in which a married couple can formalize a separation without getting divorced. Legal separation allows the couples to live apart and establish their own separate lives while still resolving some legal rights and obligations of marriage, such as property division, spousal maintenance, and child custody.
A legal separation in Arizona is similar to a divorce in terms of the process involved, but the key difference is that at the end of a legal separation, the couple remains legally married. This means they cannot legally remarry, but they can still file joint tax returns and be eligible for certain benefits that are only available to married parties.
To obtain a legal separation in Arizona, a couple must file a petition with the court, which outlines the terms of the separation agreement or proposal. The terms can address the following:
- Property Division
- Spousal Maintenance
- Child Support
- Child Custody Arrangements
If the court approves the petition, the separation agreement becomes legally binding and enforceable.
In a covenant marriage, a person can seek a legal separation for one of the following reasons:
- Felony conviction with a prison sentence or with the death penalty;
- Domestic violence, physical abuse, emotional abuse or sexual abuse of the person or of a child or relative of either spouse who resides with them;
- Chronic alcohol or drug abuse; and
- Alcohol abuse, including poor treatment of one spouse by the other.
- In addition, if one spouse abandons the other spouse for at least 12 months, the person can file for legal separation.
However, the court can order alimony, child support, and visitation prior to the 12-month requirement. Either party can also file for separation if they have been separated for 24 months. Likewise, the court could also see fit to order visitation and spousal or child support prior to the 24-month requirement, especially when an experienced Phoenix legal separation attorney presents a strong supporting petition.
Yes. If a couple decides to reconcile during a legal separation, the parties can file a motion to dismiss the legal separation petition and resume their marriage. Conversely, if they decide to proceed with a divorce, they can convert the legal separation into a divorce by filing a motion with the court. However, there are important things you need to know before you take this step, because property divisions and other orders entered in your legal separation decree can affect what happens if you reconcile with your spouse.
Have Questions Regarding Legal Separation? Schedule A Consultation With An Experienced Phoenix Legal Separation Attorney for Men.
For questions regarding specific details about legal separation, I invite you to call Thomas Law Office, PLC, at (602) 788-1395 to schedule a consultation with an experienced legal separation lawyer.
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