Residency Requirements for an Arizona Divorce
If you have decided to file for a divorce, the first step you must take is to determine where you are eligible to file. Many people assume they must file in the city or state in which they got married, but that’s generally not the case. Most often, you can file in the county where you’re currently living. The residency requirements for an Arizona divorce are based on the time frame in which you have resided in the state.
Arizona has a “no fault” divorce, so it’s not necessary to establish grounds for the dissolution of a non-covenant marriage. Instead, the state imposes time periods in which one or both spouses have to be residents before filing. The time periods are as follows:
- Couples without children can file for a divorce after one spouse has resided in Arizona for at least 90 days prior to filing the complaint.
- Couples with children can also file once a spouse has resided in the state for 90 days but the Court will not have jurisdiction to hear and decide matters pertaining to children unless the children have also resided in the state for six months before the divorce is filed.
As a military member, you only need to be stationed in the state for the required time frame to be eligible. For example, you were living in Nevada but you were relocated to Arizona and immediately sent overseas on active duty. Your spouse has not yet left your marital home in Nevada.
As long as you’re stationed in Arizona for a time period of 90 days or six months, whichever applies to your situation, you may file for divorce. It doesn’t matter that neither you nor your spouse have actively lived in Arizona during that time, because your legal location as a member of the military puts you in the state.
What If I Don’t Meet The Time Period Requirement?
Some spouses may find themselves in a situation where they want to get out of the marriage before they have met the residency requirements. In this situation, Arizona will allow you to file for legal separation before you’ve met the divorce time period. You need only live in Arizona – regardless of how long – to seek a legal separation.
Like a divorce, a legal separation addresses division of assets and debts, child custody, and child and/or spousal support. You can always convert your separation to a divorce after you’ve met your residency requirement.
Contact a Divorce Attorney
The attorneys at Udall Shumway, PLC have considerable experience with divorce and family law. Call us today to see how we can help you with your unique situation.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Tips for Dealing with Anger During Your Divorce, or other family law issues, please feel free to contact Jonathan D. Brooks at 480.461.5300, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.