Melting Down Your Marriage With Arizona Divorce Laws

Melting Down Your Marriage With Arizona Divorce Laws

Arizona is one of the hottest places in America.

One of the highest temperatures ever recorded in the states was 128° at Lake Havasu City, Arizona, in 1913. If your marriage cannot stand the heat it might be time to study up on the divorce laws in Arizona.

Arizona divorce laws – infidelity

Once upon a time, the only way to get divorced was to prove that your spouse had committed some kind of “fault,” like infidelity or abuse.

Today, the State of Arizona divorce laws only grant a divorce on a “no-fault” basis. To get a divorce, actually called a dissolution of marriage in Arizona, a spouse must show a court that four things are true.

First, the court has to find that at least one of the spouses lived in the state for at least 90 days.

Second, the Arizona state divorce laws have a process called “conciliation” that must be addressed.

One spouse has an option to attempt to get into marriage counseling.

The court cannot grant a divorce until this process has run its course. The third thing a court must decide is that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

At the end of the day, that basically just means that the couple wants to split up. Finally, the court must rule on issues related to children and splitting up the couple’s property.

Arizona state divorce laws include a concept called “covenant marriage,” which creates something closer to an old-fashioned marriage. 

A covenant marriage can only be dissolved for reasons that basically fault grounds, like adultery.

Arizona divorce laws – alimony

One of the old-fashioned ideas that still exists is the law today is that a man has an obligation to provide for his ex-wife until she dies or remarries.

That idea is falling out of favor, but Arizona and many other states still allow a court to order one spouse to make ongoing payments to the other spouse. This is called alimony or spousal support. Arizona generally allows it when one spouse cannot be self-sufficient or when they made a significant contribution to the other’s earning capacity.

The classic example is a couple that breaks up just after the husband graduates from medical school. He is about to make a lot of money, but the couple does not have much in assets to divide.

The courts can try to even that out by requiring ongoing payments from the doctor ex-husband to the ex-wife that put him through school.

Arizona divorce laws property division

Under Arizona divorce laws, everything a husband and wife obtains during their marriage is jointly owned by both (with a few exceptions like a gift or inheritance).

At divorce, the court will try to split the property equally without regard to marital misconduct. What that means is that a husband should not get less money for having an affair.

That said, a court can adjust the split for criminal conduct by one spouse or the other.

Arizona divorce laws – child custody

Child custody laws are fairly similar from state to state, and Arizona is no different.

Custody and child support issues are usually dealt with in a divorce. The court must always look out for the best interest of the child. Usually, that will mean whatever the parents agree to, but sometimes a court will have to work out differences between parents or even overrule them both.

Once custody is determined, then one parent will often have to make payments to the other to help even out the financial burden of the child. Arizona has a handy calculator to figure out the guideline amount that will usually be followed.

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