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DISCLAIMER: Providing the above information does not establish an attorney-client relationship. To create such a relationship, both the attorney and potential client must sign a written fee agreement. The information contained herein is meant only as general information and is not meant to be relied upon for the purpose of taking legal action. you should contact an attorney in person for further and specific information.

Barbara L Fuqua of Fuqua Law Firm P.C., is licensed in Arizona only.

divorce, legal separation, annulment


Divorce


Arizona is a “no fault state.” This means you do not need to state any specific reason why you want a divorce, and the other person does not have to agree to a divorce.


Once the divorce petition and other documents have been served on the other party, it is required that the parties wait 60 days to finalize the divorce even if you and your spouse agree on all issues. Finalizing the divorce can be accomplished through a “default hearing,” by submitting a “Consent Decree” to the Court for the Court’s signature without having to go to court, or by going to trial if an agreement cannot be reached on all of the issues.


Even if you and your spouse do not agree to all terms in the beginning of your case, Fuqua Law Firm, P.C. is committed to settling your case if the issues can be settled in your best interests.


If agreements cannot be reached on all issues, the only other way to obtain a divorce is through a trial. When you go to trial the judge makes all the decisions (there is no jury in divorce cases). How long it takes to get to trial depends upon the complexity of your case and the availability on the Judge's calendar.


Legal Separation


Legal Separation procedures are almost identical to Arizona divorce proceedings. Similar to an Arizona divorce proceeding, a court in an Arizona legal separation case is required to divide the parties’ community property and debts, enter orders providing for the care and custody of the parties’ children, enter orders for child support and, if appropriate, enter orders for the support of a spouse, often referred to as spousal maintenance.


The most significant difference between a legal separation and a divorce in Arizona is that the spouses remain married, and, cannot, therefore, remarry in the future. The legal separation would need to be subsequently converted to a divorce. A client may elect a legal separation in lieu of a divorce if his or her religious principles do not allow a divorce, or, in some circumstances, to ensure continuous access to health insurance through the other spouse's health insurance plan.


Annulment


Annulments of marriage are rare, but the procedure is available if the necessary legal grounds are present. The legal theory underlying annulment is that the marriage was never valid originally. It means the marriage never existed. Courts will order an annulment if it can be shown that certain criteria existed at the time of marriage. Marriages subject to annulment proceedings are classified as "void" or "voidable" and are sometimes called a nullified marriage.


Annulment is distinct from divorce in that a divorce terminates a previously valid marriage. As in divorce, however, in annulment cases the court may award custody of children of the marriage and require payment of child support and support of a party.



If you have questions about DIVORCE, LEGAL SEPARATION, or ANNULMENT PROCEEDINGS, or if you would like to discuss your situation with an experienced family law attorney, please contact attorney, Barbara L. Fuqua, today.