Yuma, AZ – All states have a similar set of laws that regulate marriages and divorce. However, it is important for anyone who is about to file in Arizona to understand some of these differences that may affect their case. Advice from a licensed attorney who focuses on family law and is familiar with the local court system is always recommended before choosing a divorce, legal separation, or going through hearings and mediation sessions.  

Arizona allows legal separations

Some states allow a couple to start to live as legally separated before they can finalize the process to dissolve the marriage. In Arizona, the laws and process for legal separation and property division are very similar to divorce cases, so it is important for a person to get advice regarding which action is best. Couples that pick a legal separation often do so for the purposes of insurance that can be shared, financial issues that will take more time to resolve, and religions that prefer for a couple to remain married. However, if the couple is looking to totally end their marriage without a longer process, it may be best to just file for divorce initially. It is also possible to convert a legal separation to a divorce if an attorney files a certain kind of motion. 

Community property laws

Community property is a system for dividing assets and property obtained during the marriage. The judge assigned to the case has the discretion to make an equitable distribution of all of the items contained in this community property pool. In practice, this is close to an equal distribution between both spouses, but not always. It is also possible for couples to use pre and post nuptial agreements to decide how property is shared on their own. 

Waiting periods

The divorce cannot be finalized until at least sixty days after the papers were initially filed on the defendant spouse. The couple also must wait until they meet the residency requirements to file, or try to find another jurisdiction that will hear their case. At least ninety days need to have passed since at least one member of the couple has lived in Arizona for the residency requirement to be met.  

Counseling and mediation is available

The family court system in Arizona encourages couples to get some kind of mediation and counseling before deciding to end the marriage. A neutral mediator can help the couple start to work out their problems and attempt to salvage the marriage. If this does not work for any reason, the couple can proceed with a no fault divorce. 

Assistance with divorce law

Schneider and Onofry is a firm that handles family law issues for local clients in Yuma and other parts of Arizona. Their lawyers handle divorces, child custody, support payments, and other related problems. 

Firm contact info:

Schneider & Onofry, P.C.

207 W. 2nd St., Yuma AZ 85364



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