ARIZONA LEGAL SEPARATION and divorce attorney

With My AZ Lawyers

What is Legal Separation?  

A legal separation allows a married couple to divide their affairs while remaining legally married. There is no minimum or maximum amount of time that the couple must remain separated. Because the couple’s marriage is not technically terminated in a legal separation, they can continue to reap some of the benefits of marriage, like shared insurance coverage. 

What is Divorce?

When a couple divorces, their marriage is legally terminated. Nearly half of marriages end in divorce, so almost everyone knows at least a little bit about them. A divorce is stereotypically a drawn out legal battle over assets and time with the children, but can be resolved through mediation or be amicable and uncontested. Arizona is a no-fault divorce state, so a spouse may file for divorce for any reason. The most commonly cited reason for divorce is the catchall “irreconcilable differences.”

What are the Main Differences between Legal Separation and Divorce?

The obvious difference between legal separation and divorce is that a couple remains legally married after a separation. This also means that you can remarry after a divorce, but not after a legal separation. If a couple divorces, they will have to officially remarry if they change their minds, while a separation is only temporary. 

How are Legal Separation and Divorce Similar?

In both separation and divorce, the couple must divide assets and debts and address custody issues. Because of this, separation and divorce take similar amounts of time to complete. You also will probably want to hire an attorney to represent you during both a separation and a divorce to ensure that you receive your fair share of assets and parenting time. You will live separately from your spouse after either procedure. Child and spousal support may be ordered during a separation and divorce as well. Arizona is a community property state, meaning that both spouses have a right and obligation to all assets and debts acquired during the marriage. The community property relationship between the spouses terminates after both divorce and separation. 

ARIZONA LEGAL SEPARATION FAQs

With My AZ Lawyers

ANSWER:

There is no residency requirement to file a legal separation in Arizona, while you must have been an Arizona resident for at least 90 days to file a divorce here. You can’t remarry after a separation, but you can remarry after a divorce. You are still legally married after a legal separation.

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ANSWER:

Because custody proceedings and a division of assets and debts will occur in a legal separation, it is always best to be represented by an attorney. This is especially true if your spouse is represented by an attorney, because you will be already be at a disadvantage if you proceed self-represented.

CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED ARIZONA LEGAL SEPARATION AND DIVORCE ATTORNEY

480.833.8000

ANSWER:

You can draft a separation agreement yourself, but a judge will still need to sign off on it for it to be legally binding. The agreement will cover issues like child custody, visitation,  and division of assets and debts.

CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED ARIZONA LEGAL SEPARATION AND DIVORCE ATTORNEY

480.833.8000

ANSWER:

Custody will be handled the same way in a separation as it is in a divorce- all decisions will be made in the best interests of the child.

CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED ARIZONA LEGAL SEPARATION AND DIVORCE ATTORNEY

480.833.8000

ANSWER:

Because you are still technically married, you can file your taxes as either “married filing jointly” or “married filing separately.” You should consult a tax professional when deciding between the two.

CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED ARIZONA LEGAL SEPARATION AND DIVORCE ATTORNEY

480.833.8000

ANSWER:

Health insurance benefits will continue during and after a separation, unless the separation ends in divorce. A couple could remain legally separated for the rest of their lives and remain on each other’s insurance policies.

CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED ARIZONA LEGAL SEPARATION AND DIVORCE ATTORNEY

480.833.8000

ANSWER:

Because Arizona is a no-fault divorce state, it is a no-fault separation state as well. When a state allows for no-fault divorce, it isn’t required for a spouse to prove things like infidelity or abuse to be granted a divorce. The spouse can simply list “irreconcilable differences” on their divorce petition.

CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED ARIZONA LEGAL SEPARATION AND DIVORCE ATTORNEY

480.833.8000

ANSWER:

In Arizona, there is no time limit on how long a legal separation can last.

CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED ARIZONA LEGAL SEPARATION AND DIVORCE ATTORNEY

480.833.8000

ANSWER:

The main reason couples opt for legal separation as opposed to divorce is financial issues. A spouse can maintain insurance coverage during a legal separation, but not a divorce. The couple will also still be entitled to tax benefits and social security benefits.

The majority of couples who file for legal separation eventually get divorced. However, approximately 15% of couples end up staying together in the long run. These couples can simply end the separation instead of dealing with the often-length process of divorce and remarriage.

CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED ARIZONA LEGAL SEPARATION AND DIVORCE ATTORNEY

480.833.8000

ANSWER:

Depending on the state, one partner may be held liable for debts incurred by the other spouse during a legal separation. If you end up getting a raise or significant increase in income during a separation, you will have to pay more child support or alimony if the separation ends in divorce.