In Arizona, a divorce is known officially as a “dissolution of marriage.” Getting a divorce involves going through the legal process with the local county Superior Court. The person seeking the divorce is known as the “petitioner,” and the other party is the “respondent.” In order to file for divorce in Arizona, one of the individuals has to have been a resident of Arizona for at least 90 days.
The court will enter a decree of dissolution of marriage after the court has “considered, approved and made provision for child custody, the support of any natural or adopted child common to the parties of the marriage entitled to support, the maintenance of either spouse and the disposition of property.” A.R.S. § 25-312.
In most cases, the people getting divorced will have to make some major decisions on dividing assets and property, in addition to dividing duties and responsibilities for any children involved. Most property acquired during a marriage becomes the community property of both spouses. It can come as a surprise to people seeking a divorce just how much they have amassed over their marriage, including property that both individuals believe they have a right to keep. Even in cases of an amicable divorce, these topics can cause tension.
An uncontested divorce can be a relatively simple and painless process. Without disputes regarding children and property, it may involve filling out the proper paperwork, and filing the documents with the court. Unfortunately, most divorces are not quite as simple. It may require a judge to make the decisions involving disputed custody, visitation, and property division.
After hearing testimony from both parties and looking at any other relevant information, a judge will divide up disputed property and provide a plan for child custody based on the best interests of the child. Coming to a mutually acceptable agreement before going to court can help to avoid a third-party making the decisions of who gets what. An experienced divorce lawyer can represent you during the divorce, to reduce conflict and prioritize your rights, including parenting rights, and protecting your money and property.