There are times when a couple needs time apart. This can be because divorce is imminent, to give one spouse some space, or to give the couple time to sort out their issues and feelings for one another. When this situation arises, a couple can ask the court for a legal separation that maintains the marriage but divides financial responsibilities while the couple is apart. A separation agreement must be filed with the court that details this arrangement, and an experienced Arizona family law attorney can help.
To learn more about separation agreements and whether one is right for you, talk to the Singular Law Group today to schedule a case consultation.
Requirements for Separation in Arizona
In order to file for a legal separation in Arizona, at least one spouse must be a resident of the state for at least ninety days prior to the filing. The spouse filing for the separation must provide grounds, which can be that the marriage is irretrievably broken, that one spouse wishes to separate and live apart, or that the other spouse does not object to the separation.
Common reasons to file for a legal separation include the following:
Anticipation of divorce
For one spouse to continue to receive medical benefits from another
Because one or both spouses’ religious beliefs prohibit divorce
The spouses lack the requirements for an Arizona divorce
Either spouse believes that reconciliation is possible
For spouses to retain tax benefits of a married couple
Elements of Arizona Legal Separation Agreement
A legal separation sets the terms for many issues that are also negotiated in a divorce. One common element of a separation agreement is property division. Not only can the agreement stipulate who gets what during the separation, it can also dictate what costs are covered by each spouse like mortgage payments, utilities, and more. Another common element of separation agreements is the determination of alimony, otherwise known as spousal support. One spouse may continue to financially support the other during the separation, either for a set period of time or indefinitely.
If children are involved in a legal separation, there are also the issues of child custody and support that must be included in a separation agreement. Child custody involves determining whether sole or joint custody is appropriate as well as physical and legal custody of the child. Child support is determined by guidelines, but the court has the discretion to deviate from these guidelines if the family’s situation warrants it. Oftentimes, a couple will utilize mediation in order to determine the specifics of a separation agreement, and it is important that you have an experienced attorney by your side to ensure that the terms are fair and in your best interest. To learn more, talk to our office now.
Contact a Trusted Family Law Attorney in the Phoenix Metro Area Today
Are you contemplating a legal separation or been served with separation papers by your spouse? If so, you need the experienced legal services of the Singular Law Group to provide top-tier representation in your case. Contact us today to schedule a case consultation.