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In Arizona, married couples can seek legal separation instead of divorce. If you’ve been residing in Arizona for a minimum of 90 days, you may file your petition for legal separation, whether you have children or not.

Differences between divorce and legal separation in AZ

Some people choose to end or “cool down” a relationship with legal separation instead of divorce. The motivation might be driven by children’s interests, finances, insurance benefits, practical factors or religious commitments. In many cases, a couple simply needs to spend time apart.

In Arizona you can find little difference in the process between legal separation and outright divorce. Filing for divorce or filing for separation takes about the same amount of time.

Legal documents for divorces and separations

Both processes require carefully prepared legal documents such as these:
  • Petition for legal separation or for divorce
  • Consent decree or order from the court
  • Affidavits to support petitions
If divorce becomes necessary after separation, then additional legal documents are needed.

Community property

At the end of a legal seperation and divorce, the couple’s community property relationship is also stopped. Community property laws provide that a couple’s assets and debts be equally shared during the marriage, but divided when the relationship ends.

The divorce and separation processes both envision property division. After separation proceedings, the spouses are still married “on paper” although physically and financially separated. They retain some benefits of marriage while shedding some disadvantages. Division of debts and assets, parenting time, and spousal support are issues that can be resolved by a court’s order.

People are worried that divorce will cause them to lose tax benefits, employment benefits, and life and health insurance. With a legal separation in Arizona, the couple can retain some of these advantages of remaining together “on paper.”

Converting separation into divorce in AZ

In Arizona a couple can be legally separated for as long a time period as they wish. A separation agreement can be converted into a divorce at any time. Once the appropriate Arizona legal documents are completed, signed, and filed, the court will usually order the divorce finalized.

If the process becomes adversarial and the spouses can’t agree, then it may be necessary to work with an attorney.

If no further action is taken after separation, upon the passing of either spouse the marital relation is legally ended. There’s generally no need for the surviving spouse to go to court, since the separation proceeding will already have resolved any issues.

The right legal documents for separation in AZ

If you’re thinking about separation or divorce, AZ Diamond Documents can help create the right documents to achieve your goals. When you’re ready for a change in your marital status, for whatever reason, we can help. Contact us now!

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MACON ERAHL
Tucson, AZ

Thank you very much! I appreciate it and everything you’re doing for us. Last night was the first time I slept good in a week after meeting with you, you definitely lifted a lot off my chest. Again, thank you!


MACON ERAHL
Tucson, AZ

Thank you very much! I appreciate it and everything you’re doing for us. Last night was the first time I slept good in a week after meeting with you, you definitely lifted a lot off my chest. Again, thank you!

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