Top 10 Arizona Divorce Questions
Top 10 Arizona Divorce Questions:
1. We were married out of the state of Arizona, do we have to return to that state for our divorce?
As long as one of the spouses has resided in Arizona for at least 90 days, the state of Arizona has jurisdiction to order the marriage to be dissolved.
2. How do we divide our debt (liabilities or obligations)?
Arizona is a “community property” state. Typically both husband and wife are both responsible for any debt during the marriage. This may depend on facts and circumstances special to your situation.
3. How do we divide our money (assets)?
Typically both husband and wife share the assets acquired during the marriage. This may depend on facts and circumstances special to your situation.
4. How long will the entire process take?
At the time this article was written, it’s a minimum of 60 days after the opposing party has been served pursuant to Arizona law. Typically a divorce will take six to nine months, but again, it depends on the facts and circumstances special to your situation.
5. What happens to health insurance?
There’ll be a preliminary injunction immediately when a Petition of Dissolution has been filed. This prevents a spouse from removing the other spouse from health insurance, until a final decree of divorce has been entered.
6. Will I pay/receive spousal maintenance (alimony)?
That depends, again on the facts and circumstances special to your situation. There are factors the court must consider under Arizona law.
7. Can I change my last name?
Yes, if you took your husband’s surname during the divorce you can have your maiden (or former) name restored.
8. How much does it cost to file for divorce?
At the time of this writing, the filing fee for Maricopa County for a divorce petition (dissolution of marriage) is $223.00, but this is subject to change. The filing fee for the other party to respond to the dissolution is $154.00, also subject to change. If you want the latest fees in Maricopa County check out this website:
These fees don’t include service of process, which will be required. If you want to hire an attorney then it depends on a number of facts and circumstances concerning your case. Your best bet is to call Enholm Law at (602) 889-6273 and schedule an initial consultation, where we’ll take a look at your case and talk about a fee agreement, which will break down the hourly costs and associated fees with a divorce.
9. Who’ll have custody of the child(ren)?
Custody is now called legal decision-making. In January, 2013 new language was placed in the law that appears to give both parents joint legal decision-making responsibility. A.R.S. 25-403 states:
“The court shall determine legal decision-making and parenting time, either originally or on petition for modification, in accordance with the best interests of the child.”
Then it lays out how those bests interest are determined:
This line is particularly interesting:
11. Whether either parent was convicted of an act of false reporting of child abuse or neglect under section 13-2907.02.
This means, that if you try to cast the opposing party in a negative light by making up claims of abuse or neglect, and you get caught and convicted, then you’re out of the game.
10. How often will I see my child(ren)?
It’s impossible to say before your case, but the goal of the new parenting time law is to maximize time between both parents, to encourage joint parenting, and to forbid a court from giving one parent preferential treatment based on the parent or the child’s gender.
For more information tailored to your facts and circumstances please consult with an Enholm Law attorney at (602) 889-6273.