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Legal separation is a significant step for couples who may be considering the possibility of ending their marriage, but are not yet ready for divorce. In Arizona, like in many other states, there are specific laws and processes governing legal separation. Keep reading to get a glimpse of Arizona law regarding filing for legal separation.

Legal Separation vs. Divorce:

Legal separation in Arizona is distinct from divorce, as it allows couples to live separately while still maintaining their legal marital status. This means that they remain married in the eyes of the law, which can have implications for issues like property division, spousal support, and health insurance benefits.

Grounds for Legal Separation:

In Arizona, there are no-fault grounds for legal separation, which means that couples do not need to prove that one party is at fault for the separation. Instead, they can simply state that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” or that they have “mutually agreed” to the separation.

Filing for Legal Separation:

To file for legal separation in Arizona, one spouse must submit a Petition for Legal Separation to the superior court in the county where they reside. This petition should outline the grounds for separation and the desired terms for issues like child custody, child support, spousal support, and property division. The filing spouse must also serve the other spouse with a copy of the petition and a summons, providing them with notice of the legal action.

Resolving Legal Separation Issues:

Much like in a divorce, legal separation proceedings in Arizona involve negotiations to settle issues related to finances, property, and children. Couples can reach an agreement through mediation, negotiation, or with the help of their respective attorneys. If they cannot agree on certain matters, the court may intervene to make decisions based on the best interests of the parties involved.

Effect of Legal Separation:

While legal separation does not end the marriage, it can have significant legal consequences. For instance, property acquired after the date of separation is typically considered separate property, and spouses may no longer be responsible for each other’s debts. It also allows for the establishment of child custody and support arrangements.

Legal separation in Arizona is a legal process that allows couples to live separately while still being married. It provides a viable alternative for those who are not ready for divorce but wish to formalize their separation. It’s essential for individuals seeking legal separation to understand Arizona’s laws and work towards a fair and mutually agreeable resolution for all involved parties. Consulting with a qualified attorney is often advisable to navigate the complexities of legal separation effectively. Contact San Tan Family Law of Queen Creek, Arizona today to learn more about how our legal team can help you navigate legal separation. 

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