Divorce & Legal Separation: What’s the Difference in Arizona?
Couples go through difficult times over the course of their relationship, but sometimes those difficulties are significant enough that spouses will decide that they do not want to be together. In Arizona, couples have the option to either file for a legal separation or a divorce, and there are significant differences between the two.
At theSingular Law Group, our experienced Arizona divorce lawyers can help you determine which path is right for you. Call or contact our office today to learn more.
Legal Separation in Arizona
In alegal separation, a couple lives apart from one another while remaining married by mutual agreement between the spouses. The mutual agreement between spouses for a legal separation is a critical difference between this and a divorce. If one spouse does not agree to a legal separation, a petition for divorce must be filed instead.
There are many reasons why a couple may choose to get a legal separation, including the following:
When a divorce is against the couple’s religious or moral beliefs,
When a spouse has a medical issue and needs to remain on health insurance,
To continue eligibility for certain types of Social Security benefits and a spouse’s pension,
To continue to work on the marriage,
To make it easier for children, and
To preserve property rights in the case of a spouse’s passing.
Similar to a divorce, there is a residency requirement to file for a legal separation in Arizona, but the amount of time is different. For a legal separation, only one spouse must reside in the state, but there is no minimum amount of time. Unlike after a divorce, spouses who are legally separated cannot remarry another person without facing serious civil and criminal consequences.
Divorce in Arizona
In a divorce, a couple legally ends their marriage, which is also known as the legal dissolution of marriage by the court. Unlike a legal separation, which requires mutual agreement between the spouses to live apart, only one spouse needs to request a divorce from the other. Arizona does not require specific grounds for divorce other than that the marriage is irretrievably broken and that one or both spouses no longer wish to be married to one another.
To qualify for a divorce in Arizona, the residency requirement mandates that at least one spouse has resided in the state for at least 90 days prior to filing the petition. Unlike a legal separation, which still may entitle a spouse to certain benefits like the right to inheritance, once a divorce is complete spouses have no obligation to one another outside of the provisions agreed to in a divorce settlement. They are free to remarry and start another family without legal repercussions from the court.
Smart Family Law Representation in the Greater Phoenix Metro Area
Are you having trouble with your spouse and wish to learn more about your legal options? Legal separation or divorce might be right for you. Contact the knowledgeable attorneys at the Singular Law Group to schedule a consultation of your case today.