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What are the legal requirements for an Arizona divorce?

A couple might decide together that a divorce is the best resolution to differences in a marriage. However, there are often occasions that involve one party deciding that a divorce is warranted without consulting the other party first. Divorce can be a challenging situation regardless of the circumstances leading up to it, and understanding the legal requirements for divorce may be helpful for the individual who wants to proceed but who is unsure about the details.

Some of the most important legal requirements to consider are those of residency. An individual who is a newcomer to Arizona might not be eligible to file for divorce right away. A minimum residential period of 90 days is required prior to filing. If this minimum residency period has been met, an individual may seek a no-fault divorce, a process that does not require any proof that the other party has committed any wrongs in the marriage. The only reason necessary for proceeding with the action is that the marriage is deemed to be irretrievably broken.

The other party in a no-fault case might choose to respond with an argument that the marriage is not irretrievably broken. In such a case, a conference between the parties might be ordered and the case continued. A 60-day period is allowed to determine whether there is a possibility of reconciliation. The only defense against a no-fault divorce is to assert that the marriage is not irretrievably broken.

A spouse who has been served in a divorce action might want to retain a lawyer who is familiar with family law to respond to the case. Although the divorce might continue forward, the time available for conciliatory counseling may provide the opportunity to consider issues such as child custody and property division so that effective arguments can be made as the case goes back to a judge.

Source: Findlaw, "Arizona Family Laws", November 18, 2014

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