Divorce Law: Grounds for Divorce in Arizona
|Grounds for Divorce||Description|
|Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage||A no-fault ground for divorce where the marriage is irretrievably broken with no chance of reconciliation.|
|Adultery||One spouse commits adultery, which is defined as having sexual intercourse with someone other than the spouse.|
|Abandonment||One spouse abandons the other for at least one year without any intention of returning.|
|Imprisonment||One spouse is sentenced to imprisonment for a minimum of one year and the other spouse files for divorce.|
|Cruelty||One spouse treats the other in a cruel and inhuman manner, making it intolerable for the other spouse to continue living together.|
|Drug or alcohol addiction||One spouse has a habit of excessive drug or alcohol consumption, making it impossible to continue the marriage.|
In Arizona, there are two types of divorce: fault-based and no-fault. Fault-based divorces require one party to prove that the other party was at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. No-fault divorces, on the other hand, do not require either party to prove fault.
- Fault-based grounds for divorce in Arizona include:
- Drug or alcohol addiction
- No-fault grounds for divorce in Arizona include:
- The marriage is irretrievably broken with no prospect of reconciliation;(A.R.S. §25-312(A)(1)) OR;
- The couple has been living separately without reconciliation for at least ninety (90) days before filing for divorce..) (A.R.S.§25-312(B)).
Explanation of Divorce Law in Arizona
On the other hand, obtaining a no-fault divorce in Arizona is typically easier and less expensive. To file for a no-fault divorce based on irretrievable breakdown of the marriage:
- The petitioner (the person filing for divorce) must state under oath that there has been an irretrievable breakdown in their marriage;(A.R.S. §25-312(A)(1)) OR;
- The couple has lived separately without reconciliation for at least ninety (90) days before filing for divorce;.) (A.R.S.§25-312(B)).
In either case, it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through each step of your specific case and help you understand your legal rights and options.
Importance of Understanding Grounds for Divorce
In addition, understanding your grounds for divorce can help you make informed decisions about whether to pursue a fault-based or no-fault divorce. Depending on your individual circumstances, one option may be more advantageous than another.
Ultimately, working with an experienced family law attorney who understands Arizona’s laws regarding grounds for divorce can help ensure that your rights are protected throughout the entire process.
No-Fault Divorce in Arizona
As mentioned earlier, Arizona allows for no-fault divorces. This means that neither party needs to prove the other was at fault for the breakdown of the marriage in order to obtain a divorce.
In addition to being easier and less expensive than a fault-based divorce, there are several benefits of pursuing a no-fault divorce in Arizona:
- No-fault divorces tend to be less contentious and emotionally charged since neither party is blamed or held responsible for causing the end of the marriage;
- The process tends to be faster than fault-based divorces since there is no need to gather evidence or prove wrongdoing;
- It can help protect your privacy by avoiding public disclosure of sensitive information about your marriage.
Definition of No-Fault Divorce
A no-fault divorce is a type of divorce in which neither party is required to prove that the other party was at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. Instead, both parties must agree that the marriage has irretrievably broken down or have lived separately without reconciliation for a certain period of time.
In Arizona, filing for a no-fault divorce can be advantageous because it typically involves less conflict and expense than a fault-based divorce. In addition, it may help preserve relationships between spouses who need to continue working together to raise children or manage finances after their divorce.
Process of Filing for No-Fault Divorce in Arizona
Throughout this process, it is important to work closely with an experienced family law attorney who can help ensure that all legal requirements are met and that your rights are protected at every stage.
Pros and Cons of No-Fault Divorce
- The lack of a clear reason for the breakup can make it more difficult to emotionally process the end of a relationship.
- If one spouse did engage in misconduct during the marriage (e.g. adultery), they may not face consequences such as losing spousal support or being required to pay a larger share of marital debts..) (A.R.S.§25-312(B)).
If you’re considering filing for divorce in Arizona, it’s important to weigh your options carefully with an experienced family law attorney who understands how Arizona’s laws regarding grounds for divorce could impact your case.
Fault Divorce in Arizona
In Arizona, fault-based divorce can be pursued if one party can prove that the other party was responsible for the breakdown of their marriage. The burden of proof lies with the person filing for divorce, and they must provide evidence to support their claim.
Some important things to keep in mind when pursuing a fault-based divorce in Arizona include:
- The grounds for fault must have occurred within two years prior to filing for divorce;
- Acknowledgment or forgiveness by the innocent spouse may prevent them from using those grounds as a basis for seeking a dissolution of marriage;
- The court will consider all relevant factors when determining whether a particular ground for dissolution has been proven.
Definition of Fault Divorce
If you are considering pursuing a fault divorce, it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can help you understand whether this option is appropriate for your individual circumstances and guide you through each step of the process.
Grounds for Fault Divorce in Arizona
Note that proving fault can be difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. It may also result in increased hostility between spouses. Therefore, it is important to carefully consider whether pursuing a fault-based divorce is truly necessary before proceeding.
Corroborating evidence can include anything from eyewitness testimony to photographs, emails, or text messages that demonstrate an affair took place. Because proving adultery requires meeting such a high burden of proof, it’s important to consult with an experienced family law attorney if you are considering pursuing this type of fault-based divorce.
If you are considering filing for divorce based on abandonment, it is important to understand that proving this ground can be challenging. Working with an experienced family law attorney who understands Arizona’s laws regarding grounds for divorce can help ensure that your rights are protected throughout the entire process.
Physical or Emotional Abuse
Physical or emotional abuse is a serious matter and can be grounds for fault-based divorce in Arizona. Domestic violence is defined as any act that results in injury, fear of injury, or intimidation between family members, household members, current or former romantic partners, or those with whom the victim has had a child.
If you are considering filing for divorce on grounds of physical or emotional abuse:
- Gather evidence: This may include medical records documenting injuries sustained from the abuse, police reports if law enforcement was involved at any point, photographs of bruises or other visible signs of abuse and witness statements from friends and family who have seen evidence of the abusive behavior.
- Contact an experienced family law attorney: An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and provide guidance throughout the entire process. Additionally, an attorney can help ensure that you obtain necessary protective orders to keep yourself safe during the proceedings.
One of the most common grounds for fault-based divorce in Arizona is substance abuse. If one spouse has a problem with drugs or alcohol that is negatively affecting the marriage, it may be possible to file for divorce on this basis.
If you are considering filing for divorce based on your spouse’s substance abuse, there are several things to keep in mind:
- You will need to provide evidence of your spouse’s addiction and how it has impacted your marriage;
- Your spouse may challenge your claims and try to argue against granting a divorce on these grounds;
- An experienced family law attorney can help you build a strong case and protect your legal rights throughout the process.
One of the fault-based grounds for divorce in Arizona is imprisonment. If one spouse has been imprisoned for at least two years, the other spouse may file for divorce on these grounds.
If you are considering filing for divorce on the grounds of imprisonment, it is important to understand that:
- You must be able to prove that your spouse has been imprisoned for at least two years;
- The imprisonment must have been a result of a felony conviction; and
- Your spouse must currently be serving their sentence.
An experienced family law attorney can help you navigate this process and ensure that your rights are protected throughout your case.
Process of Filing for Fault Divorce in Arizona
The specific details of each step will vary depending on your individual circumstances. Working with an experienced family law attorney who understands Arizona’s laws regarding grounds for divorce can help ensure that you understand what is required of you throughout this process and that all necessary steps are taken properly.
Contested Divorce in Arizona
It is important to remember that contested divorces can be emotionally draining and time-consuming for all parties involved. However, having an experienced family law attorney who understands how Arizona’s laws apply to your specific situation can help ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.
Definition of Contested Divorce
In Arizona, divorces can be either contested or uncontested. A contested divorce occurs when the parties cannot agree on all of the terms of their divorce, including division of assets and debts, child custody and support, and spousal maintenance.
During a contested divorce in Arizona:
- The parties will likely have to attend mediation to try to resolve any disputes;
- If mediation is unsuccessful, the case may proceed to trial before a judge who will decide any remaining issues;
- A contested divorce can be more time-consuming and expensive than an uncontested one due to additional court appearances and legal fees.
Reasons for Contested Divorce
If you are facing a contested divorce, it is crucial to work with an experienced family law attorney who can help protect your rights and interests throughout the process. Your lawyer can provide valuable guidance and representation as you negotiate with your spouse or seek resolution through court proceedings.
Process of Filing for Contested Divorce in Arizona
If after discovery both parties are still unable to reach an agreement on all issues related to their divorce, then a trial may be necessary. At trial, each side will present evidence supporting their claims and arguments before a judge who will make decisions regarding property division, spousal support, child custody, visitation rights etc.
Hiring an Attorney for Contested Divorce
In addition, hiring an attorney for a contested divorce can help protect you from making costly mistakes or inadvertently forfeiting important legal rights. Your attorney can guide you through each step of the process and ensure that all necessary paperwork is filed correctly and on time.
Uncontested Divorce in Arizona
An uncontested divorce in Arizona is a divorce where both parties agree on all of the issues related to their divorce, including property division, spousal support, child custody and support. This type of divorce can be much quicker and less expensive than a contested divorce.
If you are considering an uncontested divorce in Arizona, it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected throughout.
- One benefit of an uncontested divorce in Arizona is that it typically costs less than a contested one. With fewer issues to resolve, there are fewer legal fees associated with negotiating or litigating those issues;
- Another benefit of an uncontested divorce is that it can be finalized more quickly. Whereas a contested divorce may take months or even years to complete, depending on how many issues need resolution;
- In addition to being quicker and less expensive than a contested option, an uncontested dissolution can also provide more privacy for both parties involved. This is because court records will show only basic information about the case rather than details concerning arguments made by each party during hearings before judges or mediators.
Definition of Uncontested Divorce
In an uncontested divorce, both parties work together to create a settlement agreement that outlines how these issues will be handled moving forward.
If you are considering an uncontested divorce in Arizona, it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can help guide you through the process and ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way.
Process of Filing for Uncontested Divorce in Arizona
You will typically need to attend one or more brief hearings before finalizing your uncontested divorce. An experienced family law attorney can help guide you through this process.