The Start of a New Chapter

Divorce can be challenging and create stress. However, it’s essential to focus on the future and know that a new chapter in your life can be rewarding and exciting.

There is a process involved with many steps, but by working with a team of experienced attorneys, you can remain focused on the end goal and allow them to navigate this process while advocating for you and your future in the process.

Contested Vs. Uncontested

Arizona allows for both a contested divorce and an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce typically means both parties agree to the divorce, and the marriage is irretrievably broken; therefore, the process can be quicker and more seamless than a contested divorce. A contested divorce means that one of the parties doesn’t agree to the terms or the reasons behind the divorce.

A contested divorce can take longer to finalize, as both parties must come to an agreement, or the courts will need to decide on matters that can’t be agreed upon. Important issues such as legal decision-making, parenting time, spousal support or alimony, and more can complicate contested divorce proceedings.

What is a Covenant Marriage?

Arizona is one of the few states that will still honor a covenant marriage. A covenant marriage occurs when both parties agree to enter significant marriage counseling before getting married. The covenant marriage allows for fewer questions upon dissolving the marriage and limits some of your options regarding divorce in some cases.

Couples will opt for a covenant marriage for several reasons, but one of them is that it allows them to remain in control of the marriage and the divorce, should it occur. They can plan out what may happen fully should divorce become an option and can have more say in what options are available to them, rather than handling some personal or private matters in the public setting of the courts.

Divorce of a Covenant Marriage

When a couple enters a covenant marriage, they are aware that only a few specific reasons may lead to a valid divorce. Some of those reasons are adultery, emotional or domestic violence, chronic use of alcohol or drugs, one spouse committing a serious crime, physical or sexual abuse, or that both parties agree to a divorce.

Is Alimony Allowed in Arizona?

Alimony or spousal support may be awarded in some cases of divorce. The courts will review each case separately, determine whether alimony is necessary, and the amount and timeline. Judges will closely examine each party’s financial situation, the standard of living established throughout the marriage, age, and more.

Other aspects that are reviewed are what each party’s income is, how much each party may have sacrificed during the marriage, such as furthering their career or obtaining a degree to stay home and raise children, what costs may be incurred moving forward for both parties including health insurance, and more.

Each case will be different, and if courts decide that alimony should be granted, they will determine what amount and the length of time it’s necessary.

What Happens to Assets in Arizona Divorce Cases?

Arizona is a community property state, meaning all assets obtained during the marriage are considered half of each party’s and should be split respectively at the time of divorce. Assets include homes, bank accounts, cars, furniture, jewelry, and retirement accounts, to name a few.

Separate property, which either party obtained before the marriage, can turn into community property unless the assets are correctly labeled or titled. Considering these aspects before the divorce is essential to ensure that the assets you brought into the marriage aren’t split in half between both parties.

Also to consider are if gifts or an inheritance is involved. Usually, these are not split between parties and will remain the recipient’s property after the divorce. By speaking with an experienced attorney, you can ensure that your assets are appropriately titled and remain yours should you seek divorce.

Parenting Time and Legal Decision-Making

Arizona uses terms such as legal decision-making and parenting time rather than using terms like custody. Parenting time refers to the schedule the parents devise for when each party spends time with and is in charge of caring for their children.

Legal decision-making is not the same as parenting time. Decisions such as schools, medical needs, sports, extracurricular options, and more can be considered part of the decisions parents may make together for their children if they have joint legal decision-making.

Otherwise, one parent may be in charge of making the majority of these decisions without consulting the other. It’s essential to set up a realistic agreement between both parties to avoid conflicts in the future or time spent hashing out each decision as it arises throughout the child’s life.

Let’s Take the Next Steps Together

Divorce can be challenging, and navigating the landscape can be overwhelming. When you team up with an experienced staff of divorce attorneys, you can ensure that you will not be left with questions or doubts at a time in your life when this may be an incredibly comforting feeling.

We work side by side with our clients to help them plan for now and their future and then vigorously pursue that life in court. We tirelessly advocate for our clients, and through vast experience and knowledge in the Arizona courts, we are confident we can formulate a strategy that offers you peace of mind and the tools necessary to begin this next chapter of your life.

Call our office today at (623) 267-0026 to schedule your consultation and learn more about how we can assist you.