A couple facing significant marital problems may desire some sort of legal resolution short of filing for divorce. In Arizona, the law permits a married couple the ability to obtain a legal separation. There are specific procedures to be used to pursue a legal separation in Arizona.
The reality is that the process of obtaining a legal separation is like that of pursuing a divorce. A person who desires a legal separation best protects his or her legal rights and interests by retaining the services of a skilled, experienced attorney. Click here now for more information about retaining an Arizona legal separation attorney.
How a Legal Separation Works
At its essence, a legal separation addresses all issues raised in a divorce case, with one exception, according to Cornell Law School. In a legal separation, issues like property division, child custody, and all other issues are addressed. The only difference between legal separation and divorce is that a marriage does not terminate in a legal separation case.
Petition for Legal Separation
There are two several types of petitions that can be filed in a legal separation case in Arizona, depending on the circumstances of the parties desiring to separate. A petition for legal separation with children can be filed. In the alternative, a petition for legal separation without children can be pursued in Arizona.
A divorce case specifically mentions that the marriage has become irretrievably broken. On the other hand, a petition for legal separation sets forth that the parties want to live separately. No allegation is included about the marriage being irretrievably broken.
There is a residency requirement to pursuing a legal separation case in Arizona. A person must be a resident of Arizona for at least 90 days before filing a case. The case must be filed in a county in which one or both spouses reside.
Legal Separation Agreement
Part of the process of obtaining a legal separation is the development of what is known as a separation agreement. Through a separation agreement, the parties resolve major issues, from property division to child custody.
If the parties to a legal separation case are unable to reach an agreement on some issues, the court will conduct appropriate proceedings to resolve those matters. For example, if the parties cannot agree on child custody issues, the court will conduct a hearing to resolve these matters.
Retain an Arizona Legal Separation Lawyer
The first step in retaining an experienced Arizona legal separation attorney is to schedule an initial consultation. During an initial consultation, an attorney will provide a more detailed overview of how the legal separation process works. Legal counsel will also provide answers to any questions a prospective client may have about his or her case. There typically is no fee charged for an initial consultation.
Legal separation may provide an appropriate alternative for a couple with marital issues. Again, due to the complexity of the matter, retaining legal counsel is a wise decision. A legal separation can remain in place indefinitely.