What are the Divorce Requirements in Arizona?
Filing for Divorce
Arizona Revised Statues (“A.R.S”) Title 25 governs the divorce process in Arizona.
These initial factors must be true to file for divorce in Arizona:
- One or both of the parties resided in Arizona for 90 days prior to the filing of the Petition for Dissolution (or one of the parties was stationed in Arizona for 90 days while a member of the armed service).
- The conciliation provision of A.R.S. §25-381.09 do not apply or have been met.
- The marriage is irretrievably broken (if the marriage is a covenant marriage, any of the grounds in A.R.S §25-903)
Filing for divorce with minor children
There are additional filing requirements when divorcing parties have minor children in common. The divorce action must be filed in “home state” of the minor child.
“Home State” is defined as the state where a minor child has resided for at least 6 months prior to the filing of the divorce case. If the minor child has not been present in the State of Arizona for 6 months, additional considerations will apply.
Parties to a divorce case with minor children must complete a Parent Information Program course before the divorce can be finalized. A list of court approved courses is available on our Resources page.
meaning of conciliation provision
Arizona law dictates that at the time of filing for divorce, the parties must confirm the conciliation provisions of A.R.S. §25-381.09 do not apply or have been met. The conciliation provision states that either party may ask the court to submit their divorce case to conciliation court. The objective of conciliation court is to resolve disputes between the parties and preserve the marriage. Submitting your divorce action to conciliation court places your divorce case on hold for 60 days. If the parties are unable to resolve the matter within the 60 day conciliation period, the divorce action will resume after.
Confirming that ‘the conciliation provisions either do not apply or have been met’ simply means you are not interested in conciliation services or you have tried conciliation services and want to proceed with the divorce action
Legal Separation vs. Divorce
Opting for a legal separation instead of a divorce is a personal decision. There are various benefits to remaining married but differ for every couple. For example, your legally separated spouse could remain on your insurance policies or remain a beneficiary on your retirement plan. There could also be religious reasons a couple chooses a legal separation. Your accountant or financial advisor could be a good resource to understanding the financial impacts between a divorce and a legal separation.