Arizona Fault Based Divorce
Arizona is the only state that allows for a fault-based divorce if the couple has been married via a legally binding marriage called “covenant” marriage. In most circumstances, divorce is considered “no-fault”. This means that neither party is at fault for the dissolution of the marriage. No matter the reasoning for a divorce, an experienced family law attorney in Arizona should be hired to handle your case.
Covenant Marriage in Arizona
A covenant marriage in the state of Arizona is a legally binding marriage that goes above and beyond the standard marriage agreements. Before couples can legally wed, they have to undergo premarital counseling from a clergy member or a certified marriage counselor. The couple will then sign a special declaration once they apply for their marriage license.
The couple acknowledges that they were advised during the counseling of the stipulations of a covenant marriage. The marriage itself takes “until death do us part” literally. There are very few options available for separation or divorce if the couple has problems. They also must review the pamphlet before signing the declaration page.
Allowable Reasons for a Fault-Based Divorce
The only way that a judge can grant a divorce when a covenant marriage is presented to the court, the spouse requesting the fault-based divorce must prove:
- The spouse who is at-fault committed adultery during the marriage
- The at-fault spouse committed a felony, and the spouse has been sentenced to death or imprisonment
- Either of the spouses abandoned the home for at least one year prior to filing for the divorce
- There was physical or sexual abuse against the spouse, a child, or relative of either spouse by the at-fault spouse
- There is habitual drug or alcohol abuse by the at-fault spouse
In some circumstances, if the couple has tried using marital counseling as a means to stop divorce and were unsuccessful, the court may still grant them a divorce. As long as both parties made an effort, a judge may grant the divorce based on the agreement of the parties.
After a Fault-Based Divorce
Once a judge of the court has granted the divorce, the final terms will be signed off on. These legal documents are what define the terms of the divorce. These conditions will often include the following:
- If there are children as a result of the marriage-the custody, parenting time, and child support will be outlined within
- If there will be alimony ordered and the amount
- How the marital property and debt will be divided among the parties
- The responsibility of each party in regard to the attorney fees from the divorce
- Any changes to names
Legal Counsel and Fault-Based Divorce
When going through a divorce in the state of Arizona, it is vital to hire an attorney who is skilled in the area of family law. Divorces can be complicated, especially if for reasons of fault during a covenant marriage. These types of divorces can be hard to get completed, but with the right skills, an Arizona family law attorney has the expertise to get you through the proceedings with everything you are entitled to.