When an Arizona legal separation is finalized the spouses will be financially separated have ended their community property relationship, and live separately, but remain married legally. The matters to be decided in divorce and legal separation are the same — spousal support, division of debts and assets, and child(ren) custody. Nevertheless, in a divorce, the marriage is totally dissolved.
One other difference: In both covenant and non-covenant marriages, each party needs to agree to seek a legal separation. In a divorce, because Arizona is a no-fault divorce state, only one party is required for a divorce to terminate and start moving forward.
There are a lot of factors why a married couple is thinking about legal separation instead of divorce in Arizona. It’s essential to know how these two procedures are different, in addition to being similar, before choosing. When weighing legal separation and divorce in Arizona, there are a lot more similarities than there are differences. Here are some Benefits to Legal Separation in lieu of Divorce in Arizona.
In legal separation and divorce, the court will administer final orders that details division of spousal debts and assets, legal decision-making and parenting time decisions, and details concerning child support and/or spousal support. In both legal separation and divorce, the rights and responsibilities between the two parties are dissolved under Arizona community property law. Nevertheless, a legal separation doesn’t reinstate the right of either party to remarry. By all means, in divorce, each spouse is left “single” and can remarry if they wish.
Even though orders will be provided by the court in each situation, there are some considerations why a legal separation is preferred over a divorce. As an example, a couple cannot genuinely be sure they want the marriage to end. Some couples undertake legal separation as a type “trial” to see if they want to dissolve the marriage or try and work things out. Other matters exist, such as religious beliefs regarding divorce or concerns over continuing healthcare.
Couples acknowledge the cost a dissolution or divorce would lead to one party. If a spouse has considerable health issues and the price of health insurance would be exorbitant, the parties can consider in seeking a legal separation in order for the spouse requiring the medical insurance can stay on the other’s coverage. There is a plethora of reasons a couple can choose on legal separation rather than getting a divorce. Such a decision needs to be that of the couple – what fits their needs most? dissolution of the marriage or legal separation?
While a lot of people who get legally separated, eventually dissolve the marriage, this is undoubtedly not the case for everyone. Arizona law provides the community is separated and any property obtained by a spouse after serving papers for dissolution, legal separation, or annulment, is the distinct property of that spouse IF the petition ends up in a decree – whether it be the dissolution of the marriage, legal separation, or annulment.
In addition to the court undertaking its final orders in both a divorce and legal separation, each party can enter into a contract and present it to the court. The court will determine the contract binding. Nevertheless, after taking into account the terms of the legal separation contract and considering the economic situations of the parties and other related evidence, the court can determine the contact unfair, except for those terms related to providing for custody, support, and parenting time of the child(ren). As a result, even if each party agrees, a decree will be filed by the court – a decree accepting the parties’ contract.
Before deciding on separation or dissolution of the marriage, it is advised to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable Arizona Family Law attorney in order to figure out what is in one’s best interest.
Differences Between Legal Separation vs Divorce in Arizona
- Once Divorced, The Marriage Is Over
- Only One Party Needs to Seek Divorce
- Legal Separation Doesn’t Give the Other Party the Right to Remarry
Similarities Between Legal Separation Vs Divorce In Arizona
- Spousal Support (Alimony)
- The Division of Debts And Assets
- Child(ren) Custody
6 Reasons to Choose Legal Separation vs Divorce in Arizona
- Health Coverage. A spouse may keep the couple’s health care benefits, particularly if it’s under the name of the other spouse. Getting a divorce typically stops the coverage (depending on the divorce terms).
- Religious Beliefs. A few religious beliefs and institutions have differing ideas on divorce. Couples who want to live apart may decide to have a legal separation arrangement in order to remain married for religious reasons.
- Military Benefits. Spouses of military personnel gain benefits from the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act if they stay married for a minimum of 10 years.
- Social Security Benefits. Staying married for more than 10 years also entitles couples particular social security benefits.
- Tax Breaks. After a divorce, taxes must be filed independently.
- Separation leaves time for both parties to resolve their disagreements to either continue with the marriage or simply settle on divorce and just move on.
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Moshier Law should be your first choice for when you need the best divorce lawyer in Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona. An experienced family law attorney will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. We advocate for our clients, so they have the brightest future possible. Give us a call today at 480-999-0800 for a free consultation.
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