Although dissolutions of marriage are relatively common in Arizona, no one ever expects to go through a divorce. Consequently, most people find themselves with a lot of questions about the divorce process. Finding the answers to these questions and having a better understanding of what happens during a divorce can help reduce stress levels significantly while reducing the likelihood of legal mistakes. For this reason, we’ve compiled a list of five common questions about Arizona divorces in 2017.
Question #1: Are Divorces, Annulments, and Legal Separations All Basically the Same Thing?
Simply put… no. Divorces, annulments, and legal separations are entirely different things. An annulment actually deems a marriage to be void. This is essentially the same thing as saying that the marriage never happened in the first place. Specific conditions must be met in order for an annulment to be granted in the state of Arizona. In a legal separation, a couple decides to remain legally married while physically separating from one another, usually living in separate residences. A divorce, or dissolution of marriage, is the legal termination of a couple’s marital responsibilities to one another. If you’re not sure which of these would best fit your situation, a Schill Law Group attorney can assist you with making that determination.
Question #2: What’s the Difference Between a Fault and No-Fault Divorce?
In some states, one spouse can be deemed “at fault” for the divorce due to adultery, abandonment, or cruelty. Because Arizona is a “no-fault” state, there is no need for either spouse to try to prove that the other was responsible for the ending of a marriage. Consequently, no reason needs to be given for why the petitioner is requesting a divorce.
Question #3: What Is Spousal Maintenance and How Does It Work?
Commonly referred to as “alimony,” spousal maintenance refers to payments that are made from one spouse to the other throughout the divorce proceedings, after the divorce has finalized, or both. Spousal maintenance is usually granted when one partner has been the primary source of income for the couple and the other needs financial assistance while getting his or her feet back on the ground. Spousal support is typically only granted as temporary relief so that the recipient learns to become self-supporting. Exceptions exist where the recipient is disabled or otherwise unable to obtain employment.
Question #4: How Does Child Support Work?
In some divorce cases, couples are able to come to an agreement about custody and child support arrangements. These agreements can be reached by the couples themselves, through the help of a mediator, or with the involvement of attorneys. In others, a judge must make determinations of who will have primary physical custody of the child or children and how much the other parent will need to pay each month to contribute to their needs and welfare. The amount of money to be paid is determined by examining factors, such as each spouse’s income, and the number of children involved.
Question #5: Can One Spouse Put a Stop to a Divorce?
In the case of no-fault divorces in Arizona, there is no way to stop a divorce from happening once the petitioner has filed for a dissolution of marriage. If both parties decide that they wish to reconcile and stop divorce proceedings, they are able to do so, but one spouse may not stop the other from ending the marriage.