State Bar of Arizona uses the word divorce as shorthand for the real, legal term: dissolution of marriage. The simple term covers both broad and complex concepts but despite its fearsome reputation, it is possible to navigate. While the process is not always intuitive (and it is always recommended to reach out to an attorney for consultation), divorce has a series of straightforward objectives it aims to cover. Knowing them can help lead the way to a swift divorce.
Arizona’s no-fault stance means that any marriage (outside of covenant marriages) can be dissolved assuming, as Arizona’s State Bar specifies, at least one party feels the relationship is “irretrievably broken”.
Findlaw outlines a basic timeline (irrespective of state law) that breaks down a series of declarations, petitions, and paperwork all before the divorce trial proper. Much of this is where the headache of paperwork comes in.
From there, the courts have several steps to ensure a comprehensive dissolution including:
- Official termination of the marriage
- Determination of custody, maintenance (alimony), and property division
- Assignment of responsibilities regarding debts and attorney costs
Once a divorce is underway, it is important for both parties to know their options, their direction, and what hurdles lie ahead. The process is designed to be thorough but that does not mean that the process has to be excruciating. In the articles highlighted above, both recommend an attorney from the beginning. While each marriage is unique in its own way, divorce is a regularly-traveled topic that is best handled by those who know the ins and outs of these basic steps and objectives.