For many, marriage is the beginning of a long walk through life together with a partner. However, this is not the case for everybody. Some couples experience hard times in marriage. While some of these issues can be reconciled, others are irreconcilable. This is where divorce becomes an option.
No one goes into a marriage expecting to get divorced. But people change, and some things are beyond our control. Sometimes, it is better to get divorced than to be in a marriage that hurts you emotionally, psychologically, and physically. In such a case, your decision to get a divorce is understandable.
If you live in Arizona and are contemplating an online divorce, we want to help guide you through the process.
There are several top online divorce sites from which to choose like https://www.arizonaonlinedivorce.com/. The first thing you have to do is surf the internet for the best online divorce service. With the right service, you can have a do-it-yourself without an attorney.
Divorce laws vary from state to state, as does the process involved in seeing the case through till the end. Below we will share some of the basic things to know about getting a divorce in Arizona.
Requirements for Filing for Divorce
Divorce laws in Arizona are very complex. To see your case through successfully, you may need the services of an attorney who understands the rules and subtleties of the application process. Before filing for a divorce in Arizona, there are basic requirements that must be met. They include:
- Residency Requirements: To file a divorce in Arizona, you or your spouse must have resided in Arizona for no less than 90 days. It is also possible to be a resident of Arizona, even though you are temporarily living in another state.
- Attempts Must Have Been Made at Reconciliation: According to the revised Arizona marital statute, parties seeking a divorce must first attempt to reconcile their marriage. Once a divorce petition has been filed by the petitioner and received by the respondent, both parties must request free counseling within the first 60 days.
- The Correct Divorce Papers Must Be Submitted to The Court Clerk: To file for a divorce in Arizona, the aggrieved party must submit the proper divorce papers to the court clerk. These documents include a petition for marriage dissolution, a Summons, and Preliminary Injunction, among others.
The Time It Takes to Get a Divorce
Another thing you must know about getting a divorce in Arizona is the time it takes to do the paperwork and complete the process. It varies considerably depending on the type of divorce: uncontested or contested.
For uncontested divorce cases, the time differs based on the situation. While some divorces cases are relatively simple, others can get complicated. The fastest an uncontested divorce can take is between 60 – 120 days.
For a contested divorce, many issues are involved, which makes it a lot more complicated than an uncontested one. Some contested divorce cases take up to two years before being completed. Here the services of professionals like psychologists, lawyers, and financial experts are needed.
The psychologist may be needed to evaluate existing disputes with regards to custody of the children. The financial expert may be necessary to assess the income of spouses to determine any conflict concerning earnings. And you should be in touch with your attorney to ensure a favorable outcome for your case. To ensure it doesn’t take longer than expected, make sure to disclose all vital information to your attorney.
The Cost of the Divorce
Just like with time, the price of a divorce depends on whether it is contested or uncontested. Even though every case is analyzed based on its merits to determine its cost, uncontested divorce always costs less than contested ones.
In an uncontested divorce, couples reach an agreement out of court. They only go to the Court to validate the concessions reached. So typically, an uncontested divorce will cost between $1,000 and $3,000. That is why couples seeking an inexpensive divorce regard it as the best choice.
The difficulty with analyzing costs lies with a contested divorce. The national average for this divorce is about $15,000 – $30,000 per spouse but varies from case to case.
Another factor that increases the cost of divorce in Arizona is the existence of complicated issues. The more disputes that come up and need to be settled, the more costly a divorce gets. These hard issues can include allegations of child abuse or domestic violence by one of the parties. Experts must be appointed to ascertain the truth of these allegations. These experts and the services they offer come at an extra cost.
Custody of the Children
If you are filing for av divorce, you need to understand that both parents have rights to the children. These rights are defined in Arizona divorce law. Regardless of the divorce, no parent’s right to control and care for the child supersedes that of the other. Even after the successful completion of the divorce process, both parents continue to enjoy these rights.
The challenge with custody of children happens when parents disagree on a schedule. Title 25 Chapter 4 of Arizona Revised Statutes provides extensive guidance for the custody of children. Based on these provisions, there are certain factors to be considered by the court when addressing the issue of child custody. Some of these factors include:
- The relationship that exists and is likely to exist between the parent and the child
- The relationship that exists between the child and siblings
- The ability of the child to adapt to a new home, school, and community environment
- The age, maturity level, and wishes of the child with regards to the divorce
- The mental, physical, and psychological state of the child as well as that of both parents
- The history of the parent and the child with regards to domestic violence or child abuse
Often, the attorneys representing the parties in a divorce suit try to advise their clients on the effect divorce has on children. They could also help both parties reach an agreement on the best parental schedule for both parents.
Child Support and Alimony
In Arizona, both parents of a divorce owe a duty of financial support to their children. There is an Arizona Child Support Guideline that provides for the calculation of child support. Both parents’ incomes are considered when arriving at this calculation. Another factor considered is the cost of providing health insurance for the child.
Alimony, on the other hand, is not always available. The court has the discretion of determining whether or not alimony is appropriate in a specific case. To deliver a support order for spousal maintenance, the court considers the following:
- The standard of living of both parents
- How long the marriage lasted before the divorce
- The age and financial capacity of the spouse seeking spousal support
- The comparative earning capacity of both parties in the labor market
Division of Properties and Debts
Another important aspect of getting a divorce in Arizona is the division of properties and debts. Section 25 – 318 of the Arizona Revised Statute provides for the equitable division of property in a divorce. However, before dividing properties between spouses, the court must confirm joint and separate ownership of properties.
Regarding the evaluation and division of properties between parties in a divorce suit, the case of Sommerfield v. Sommerfield is most relevant. Based on this case, property acquired by married couples during a subsisting marriage is presumed to belong to the community. This case provides the general rule for property division, but the court has developed some exceptions to this rule over the years.
The division of property and debts in a divorce case filed in Arizona goes through the following process:
- The court starts by identifying the properties – separate and community properties of both parties.
- The separate property is awarded to the party that owns it, while the community property is valued.
- After valuing the community property, the court divides the community property between parties based on the relevant laws.
- The court also considers the possible existence of any tax consequence.
To hasten the divorce process, you should list out all the properties you acquired before the marriage. A list should also be made for properties acquired by you and your spouse during the marriage.
The decision to get a divorce is always a tough one to make. But you don’t have to make the process any tougher by missing any of the crucial components involved. Detailed preparation is essential in building a successful online divorce case. By knowing what is necessary to complete a divorce case, you can fast track the process and get it done in the shortest possible time.
Online divorce works in two ways – with the services of an attorney or without an attorney. Online divorce without an attorney is known as a DIY divorce. When doing an online divorce without an attorney, it is important to work with a service with a track record of success.