Arizona Divorce Law FAQs
By Heather Baker-Mushkatel on March 5, 2013
If you’re considering a divorce in Arizona, you probably have many questions about how the process works. Here are a few of the most commonly asked and answered questions about Arizona divorce law.
Do I need grounds to file for divorce?
Arizona is a “no-fault” state when it comes to divorce, meaning that you only need to demonstrate that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” with “no reasonable prospect for reconciliation.”
Should I file for divorce first?
Generally, there is no benefit to being the spouse who files for divorce first. On occasion, some benefit may result by virtue of being able to choose which court within which to file.
How long does a divorce take?
At a minimum, an Arizona divorce takes sixty (60) days to be finalized after the initial paperwork is filed and served on your spouse. If property, money, or child custody and support issues are involved, the divorce may take longer. Typically, a divorce that is contested cannot be resolved within ninety (90) days.
What does it mean that Arizona is a “community property” state?
In a “community property” state like Arizona, all properties and debts the couple acquires during their marriage are assumed to belong to both spouses, regardless of whose name is on the property title or the debt. This presumption ends as of the date that a petition for divorce has been filed.
How will our property be divided?
Arizona courts must divide property “equitably,” which usually means equally, factoring in each spouse’s contributions to the property and the debts. A tax professional or attorney can help you understand the particular consequences of different types of property division.
Heather Baker-Mushkatel is an Arizona native who focuses in the area of family at Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC. Heather also has substantial experience in criminal defense law, including a background as a public defender in Maricopa County. Heather earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and obtained her Juris Doctorate from Brooklyn Law School. She is a highly active member of state and local bar associations who has served on several panels to educate young lawyers and law students.