Divorce (Dissolution of Marriage) in Arizona
Divorce is legally referred to as a dissolution of marriage in the state of Arizona and is one of three options available to married couples as a way to end their marriage, along with legal separation and annulment.
Divorce can be beneficial in that it provides complete closure and can also provide the support of spousal maintenance, child support, a court-ordered parenting plan, and the ability to start over emotionally.
According to A.R.S. 25-312, a court will enter a decree of dissolution of marriage (issue a divorce) if the following are true:
- One of the spouses was a resident of the state of Arizona, or was stationed in the state as a member of the military, for a duration of at least 90 days at the time of filing for divorce.
- Prior to filing for divorce, neither spouse filed a petition invoking the jurisdiction of the court for the purpose of preserving the marriage in a conciliation court.
- The marriage is irretrievably broken.
- If the marriage was a covenant marriage, that at least one of the lawful grounds for marriage has been met.
If both of the spouses, either by petition or under oath or affirmation, state that the marriage is irretrievably broken, or if one of the spouses so states and the other does not deny it, the court will make a finding as to whether the marriage is irretrievably broken.
However, if one spouse denies under oath or affirmation that the marriage is irretrievably broken, then the court will hold a hearing to consider all the relevant factors and do either:
- Issue a finding as to whether the marriage is irretrievably broken.
- Continue, or schedule out, the matter for no more than sixty days for a further hearing. The court may order a conciliation conference by its own motion or at the request of either spouse. At this next hearing, the court will make a finding as to whether the marriage is irretrievably broken.
In practice, a court will find a marriage is irretrievably broken so long as one party states that it is.
A finding that the marriage is irretrievably broken is a determination that there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.
To the extent it has jurisdiction to do so, the court will also make provisions for legal decision-making and parenting time, child support, spousal maintenance (alimony),and the disposition of property.
Divorce is often a stressful proceeding, charged with emotions and fraught with legal complications. To learn more about specific issues within divorce, click through our divorce articles:
Rideout Law Group handles cases throughout the entire state of Arizona, with offices located in Scottsdale and Lake Havasu City. Our attorneys are experienced in handling divorce cases. For a free consultation, call 480-584-3328.