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FAQ Page for Family Law Matters
Experienced Arizona Family Law Attorneys Providing Honest Answers To Your Family Law Questions.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ) FOR ARIZONA FAMILY LAW
QUESTION: Should I File for a Divorce or a Legal Separation?
FAQ ANSWER: This is a question that our Arizona Family Lawyers get a lot. There is very little difference between a legal separation and a divorce. The paperwork and legal issues are similar for both. Both legal separation and divorce take approximately the same amount of time, both require a filing fee, both come along with similar legal costs. The main difference is the result. At the end of an Arizona divorce, you are divorced and free to marry again. Whereas in a Legal Separation, it’s like you are divorced but you are not free to get married again.
QUESTION: My Spouse Cheated on Me! Will this help me in the Divorce?
FAQ ANSWER: Not exactly, since Arizona is a no fault divorce state it doesn’t really matter that your spouse cheated on you. Arizona will simply grant you a divorce. Perhaps the only saving grace may be if you had a prenuptial agreement that had an adultery clause in it. Contact an Arizona Divorce Lawyer and get more information.
QUESTION: Is the State of Arizona a 50-50 Custody state?
FAQ ANSWER: In Arizona, the court want to see both parents equally involved. Thus, most Arizona Family Court Judges tend to award joint decision making and equal parenting time if it is possible logistically to do so and if it makes sense under the circumstances. There are circumstances when 50-50 parenting time isn’t awarded. To get a better understanding of 50-50 parenting time and the Arizona family laws regarding it, contact our Arizona Divorce Attorneys today.
QUESTION:What is a “Common Law Marriage” in Arizona.
FAQ ANSWER: Arizona does not recognize Common Law Marriage. Though it is a thing in other states, it is NOT in Arizona.
QUESTION: Can I File for Divorce in Arizona?
FAQ ANSWER: YES. You are able to file for divorce in Arizona as long as you or your partner has lived in Arizona for at least 90 days. Plus, you have to believe that your marriage is over. That is, you believe that the marriage has no hope of reconciliation or that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
QUESTION: What is a divorce in Arizona?
FAQ ANSWER: In the state of Arizona, divorce is a legal process to end a marriage. Also called dissolution of marriage, this proceeding addresses division of assets and spousal maintenance, or alimony. When minor children are involved, other issues that are addressed include parenting time, child support, and child custody.
QUESTION: How long does it take to get a divorce in Arizona?
FAQ ANSWER: When the divorce is uncontested, it can typically be completed in 80-90 days. Of course, each divorce has its own unique circumstances, so it may depend on the legal issues that need to be addressed in the divorce case.
QUESTION: What is parenting time?
FAQ ANSWER: Parenting time is child visitation. It is the time the children spend with each parent. Physical custody of the children also define parenting time. A parenting plan outlines the time spent with each parent, and this document also defines vacation and holiday time. In all custody cases, a parenting plan is prepared, usually with provisions that dictate unpaid medical expenses and the payment of activities. Each parent must follow the plan. The court approves the initial parenting plan, but this may be modified if the need arises.
QUESTION: How does child support get calculated in Arizona?
FAQ ANSWER: A formula adopted by the Arizona Supreme Court determines child support. The amount is figured by adding the monthly gross income for each spouse. Next, an amount for basic support is determined from guidelines. Medical insurance, educational costs, child care, support of other children, and the age/s of the child/children affects the basic support amount. Typically, child support is paid by wage assignment. The Court sends the wage assignment to the employer of the parent paying child support. Under federal and state law, the employer is required to withhold the support. The parent paying child support is still responsible for the payment amount ordered, even if the employer does not withhold the support. Child support payments need to be made and remain current.
QUESTION: Am I eligible for spousal support?
FAQ ANSWER: Spousal support is also known as alimony. The Arizona court takes different factors into consideration when determining spousal support including the length of the marriage, the age of each spouse, the earning capacity of each party, the age of the children, and contributions made by each spouse during the marriage, or if there is an existing prenuptial agreement. When determining the amount if alimony is proper, and the amount that will be awarded, the courts consider many economic circumstances. Alimony payments may be made monthly, weekly, or in one lump sum. Alimony is income that is taxable, and must be reported on a tax return (as well as it is a deductible amount by the spouse paying it).
QUESTION: What kinds of assets are divided in a divorce in Arizona?
FAQ ANSWER: An Arizona divorce includes the division of all community or marital property owned by the couple. Usually, this property includes most of the property that was acquired during the marriage, including the home/s, home furnishings and appliances, vehicles, financial assets, art, investments, a privately owned business, and retirement accounts.
In some cases, intangible property need be divided. Intangible property that is divisible includes the value of a spouse’s name or celebrity status, the value on an invention patent, or the value of a professional degree held by a spouse. When both parties make a significant contribution to this value, may these intangible assets be divided.
Through discovery, an attorney can help a spouse to identify all the assets that are available for division and valuation. Documents that show disclosure of income, assets, and liabilities are discovered, and usually each spouse is deposed by an attorney. This ensures that, under oath, each spouse will respond to questions in order to gather all information regarding assets and income.
QUESTION: What is the difference between legal separation and divorce?
FAQ ANSWER: In Arizona, legal separation is not legally a termination of marriage. As a result, when a period of legal separation ends, you are still married to your spouse. Legal separation can be a good option for some couples. if a couple is not sure they want a divorce or choose not to divorce for financial or religious reasons.
Both divorce and legal separation come with court orders for child support and spousal support as well as child custody and child visitation, property division and other Arizona family law issues.