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What Happens When a Party Refuses to Participate in a Divorce or Family Law Case?

What Happens When a Party Refuses to Participate in a Divorce or Family Law Case?

Occasionally, one party initiates a divorce (or some other type of family law case) and the other party simply refuses to participate. When this happens, it can complicate the process of moving your divorce along through the court system. In this writing, we will discuss what happens when one party does not…
Family Pets Under Arizona Divorce Law

Family Pets Under Arizona Divorce Law

Occasionally, a client will bring up an issue concerning visitation or ownership of a family pet, such as a dog or a cat. The relationships between pet owners and their pets can run very deep, as many individuals cherish their furry friends as much as they would their own children. Unfortunately, when…
What Happens During Arizona Conciliation Court Proceedings?

What Happens During Arizona Conciliation Court Proceedings?

An Arizona conciliation court can offer different services to preserve the marriage or to resolve controversies between spouses, including conciliation services, temporary orders, mediation, assessments, evaluations, family education, and other such services. See Ariz. R. Fam. L. Pro. 68(a). This writing discusses the rules of procedure regarding the scheduling of a hearing…
What is Arizona’s Conciliation Court?

What is Arizona’s Conciliation Court?

In Arizona, in certain cases, spouses may seek or might be ordered to submit their family law controversies to a conciliation court. Conciliation court attempts to either preserve the marriage or to resolve controversies. See Ariz. R. Fam. L. Pro. 68(b)(1). A conciliation court can offer different services to achieve these goals,…
Where to File a New Family Law Case in Arizona

Where to File a New Family Law Case in Arizona

Under Arizona law, there are two aspects to deciding where to file a new family law case: (1) venue and (2) jurisdiction.     I. Venue in Arizona Family Law Cases   The issue of venue is relatively straight forward. “Venue” refers to the Arizona county in which the family law case may…
Arizona Family Court Cases & The Best Interests of Minor Children

Arizona Family Court Cases & The Best Interests of Minor Children

I. The Best Interests Standard   In Arizona, whenever a family court makes a determination about legal decision-making (custody) or parenting time for a minor child, it is statutorily required to make orders that are in that minor child’s best interests. See ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN. § 25-403(A). Arizona statute states that…
Terminating Spousal Support in Arizona Family Law Cases

Terminating Spousal Support in Arizona Family Law Cases

I. Premarital Agreements & Spousal Maintenance Arizona law recognizes and allows for the enforcement of premarital agreements concerning spousal maintenance. See ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN. § 25-202. However, there are limits on what a premarital agreement can accomplish. For example, “[i]f a provision of a premarital agreement modifies or eliminates spousal support…
Obtaining Spousal Maintenance in Arizona Divorce & Legal Separation Cases

Obtaining Spousal Maintenance in Arizona Divorce & Legal Separation Cases

Under certain circumstances, in a proceeding for dissolution / divorce or legal separation, Arizona law allows for an award of spousal maintenance, which is sometimes called “alimony” or “spousal support.” See ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN. § 25-319(A). It is important to bear in mind that even if a party qualifies for spousal…
Grandparents and Third-Party Rights in Arizona Child Custody Matters

Grandparents and Third-Party Rights in Arizona Child Custody Matters

In some situations, grandparents and other third-parties may be able to obtain custody or visitation with a minor child. Arizona law makes it a “rebuttable presumption that awarding legal decision-making to a legal parent serves the child’s best interests because of the physical, psychological and emotional needs of the child to be…
The Preferences of Minor Children in Arizona Family Court Cases

The Preferences of Minor Children in Arizona Family Court Cases

Arizona courts are required, by statute, to make orders about parenting time and legal decision-making based on the best interests of the minor child. See ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN. § 25-403(A). A child’s best interests are determined using eleven (11) factors, one of which considers: “If the child is of suitable age…
Arizona Legal Annulment of Marriage

Arizona Legal Annulment of Marriage

Arizona law empowers its superior courts to “adjudge a marriage to be null and void when the cause alleged constitutes an impediment rendering the marriage void.” ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN. § 25-301. When an annulment is granted, Arizona courts proceed as though the marriage had never existed in the first place. “Upon…
What Are the Statutory Grounds for an Order of Legal Separation in an Arizona Covenant Marriage?

What Are the Statutory Grounds for an Order of Legal Separation in an Arizona Covenant Marriage?

The applicable Arizona statute lists seven (7) bases for granting an order of legal separation to a covenant marriage. See ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN. § 25-904. The first basis listed by the statute is the adultery of the respondent to the request for a decree of dissolution. § 25-904(1). It is important to…
Are Common Law Marriages Recognized in Arizona?

Are Common Law Marriages Recognized in Arizona?

As a general rule, Arizona will not allow a common law marriage to be formed within the state. In fact, only a small handful of United States jurisdictions allow the formation of or recognize some form common law marriage, including: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina (for…
What Are the Legal Grounds for a Divorce in an Arizona Covenant Marriage?

What Are the Legal Grounds for a Divorce in an Arizona Covenant Marriage?

The applicable Arizona statute lists eight (8) bases for granting a decree of dissolution (divorce) to a covenant marriage. See ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN. § 25-903. The first basis listed by the statute is the adultery of the respondent to the request for a decree of dissolution. § 25-903(1). It is important…
What is a Covenant Marriage in Arizona?

What is a Covenant Marriage in Arizona?

In 1998, Arizona became one of a small handful of jurisdictions in the United States that recognize a legally distinct type of marriage, called a “covenant marriage”, which requires a special license from the state and limits the grounds for divorce or legal separation. See ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN. § 25-901 et…
Divorce in Arizona

Divorce in Arizona

There are two major ways to dissolve a marriage in Arizona. These ways can involve children, or not. The first way is an uncontested divorce, which proceeds exactly as it sounds – uncontested. Both parties to the action have agreed to each and every aspect of the divorce and can proceed pretty seamlessly…
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