Centuori & Associates, PC

Do you understand the divorce process in Arizona? Chances are most people do not fully understand what it is involved when they decide to end their marriage. To start with, divorce is actually called the "dissolution of marriage" in Arizona. Regardless of what term you use, divorce can be confusing.

Most divorces center on the division of property, spousal support orders and child custody and child support issues if children are involved. Below are some common terms and related issues that divorcing couples should understand before filing for divorce:

  • Community property: property acquired during the course of the marriage is considered community property and is subject to a fair division. This means that community property will be divided in fair way. This does not mean that all property will be divided in a 50/50 split. Items that can be considered separate property and not subject to a fair division include property owned by one spouse before the marriage and gifts or inheritances received by one spouse.

  • Child support orders: Child support is used to help pay for raising the children. This includes clothing, food, shelter, schooling and other expenses. Either spouse can request a temporary child support order while the divorce is still in progress. Temporary orders will terminate once the divorce has been finalized. Child support orders will likely continue once the divorce decree is signed by a judge.

  • Child custody and parenting time: Once a divorce petition is filed, the court is able to make decisions regarding parenting time. However, most courts want parents to reach a parenting time agreement through mediation. If this is not possible, the court will issue a ruling on parenting time. Under the law, parents of minors are required to complete an educational class before any agreements are finalized.

The divorce decree can include other issues related to a couple's specific situation, which may include complex property division or high-asset matters. Once all issues are decided, the court will grant a divorce decree, which must be signed by a judge to finalize the divorce.

If you are thinking about filing for divorce or are already in the process of ending your marriage, it is important to understand these basic issues. It will help during negotiations and make it easier to find a resolution for everyone involved. You should also consider working with a divorce attorney to ensure your rights are protected and all options are explored before signing your divorce decree.

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