How Does Legal Separation Work In Arizona?
A legal separation is an available option when a married couple decides they would prefer to live separate and apart. It is distinct from a divorce in that it allows parties to obtain a court order regarding custody, child support, spousal maintenance, as well as the division of property and debt, while remaining legally married.
The process of a legal separation is identical to the process for a divorce (dissolution of marriage). Once the legal separation is finalized, you have will have legally established yourself as someone acting in an individual capacity rather than on behalf of the community.
Why Legally Separate?
Reasons for obtaining a legal separation instead of a divorce can vary, but primarily include the ability to continue on a spouse’s insurance coverage (not an option if you are divorced), to relieve yourself of any further financial obligations entered into by your spouse, or religious concerns.
Regardless of the reason, if a petition for legal separation is filed in Arizona, but the other party prefers a divorce instead of separation, the court will then convert the matter to a divorce. In order to obtain a legal separation, both parties will have to agree that that they prefer it to a divorce.
Let Us Help You Through Your Legal Separation
If you are considering filing for legal separation, you should at least speak with an attorney about how to do so, the process, and the potential ramifications and outcomes. The attorneys at Lincoln & Wenk, PLLC, have experience in a wide range of legal separation and family law situations, including complex property division cases involving ownership of businesses, division of retirement accounts and other matters.