Frequently Asked Questions about Divorce in Arizona
If you are facing divorce or have another legal concern involving your family, you likely have many questions during this difficult time. Here, we address some common concerns people have when they come to the law office of Steven C. Weinstein for assistance.
How quickly can I get a divorce in Arizona?
You or your spouse must have resided in the state for at least 90 days before you can first file for divorce here. If you have fulfilled that requirement, you must wait at least an additional 60 days after serving your spouse with divorce papers before being able to get a final divorce decree. If you and your spouse agree on all aspects of a divorce settlement, you should be able to obtain a divorce in relatively short order after the 60 day waiting period. If there is disagreement about the divorce terms, you may have to go to trial first, which can cause substantial delays.
How do I begin divorce proceedings?
The first step you will want to take is to talk with an experienced Tucson divorce attorney in Arizona to discuss your options. If you have determined that divorce is the best option for you, a "Petition for Dissolution of Marriage" must then be filed with the court. The petition must then be served on your spouse, along with various other documents, including: "Family Court Cover Sheet", "Summons," "Preliminary Injunction," "Sensitive Data Sheet," "Affidavit of Minor Children," "Notice Regarding Creditors," and other documents which may or may not pertain to your particular case. A qualified Tucson divorce attorney can assist you with determining which documents are needed and filing them out.
Will I have to testify in court in order to get a divorce?
If you can't agree on a divorce settlement with your spouse, you may have to testify in a divorce trial in order for the court to determine issues such as spousal support, child support, visitation rights, property settlements, debt responsibilities and other matters. If you and your spouse agree on a divorce settlement, you can usually avoid court testimony and simply file a consent decree that is signed by all parties.
Can I change my mind about getting divorce after I file for one?
Yes. Provided that you change it before the court signs a final divorce decree and that your spouse agrees. Until the final decree is signed, you can dismiss your divorce case at any time as long as your spouse also agrees to dismiss it.
Is there a difference between child support and alimony?
Yes. Child support consists of sums that are owed to support the child's needs and education. Alimony is to support the adult ex-spouse. It is possible to have an order for child support even in cases where no alimony is awarded.
What is the difference between "legal custody" and "physical custody" of a child?
"Legal custody" means that you have the right to make major life decisions for the child such as where he or she will go to school, religious upbringing, medical decisions, etc. "Physical custody" refers to having physical custody of the child and having the child live under your roof. The amount of physical custody a parent has with a child is referred to as "parenting time" in Arizona.
Are grandparents entitled to visitation rights to their grandchildren?
Only if a court determines that such visitation rights are in the best interests of the child and either: (1) It has been at least three months since the child's parents have divorced; (2) A parent of the child has been deceased or has been officially missing for at least three months; or (3) The child was born out of wedlock. For more information on grandparent visitation rights, see our Grandparent Visitation page.
Where can I find a good, experienced divorce lawyer in Tucson?
The Tucson law office of Steven C. Weinstein can provide you with one of the most experienced and effective divorce attorneys throughout Arizona. Contact Steve today if you need legal advice or representation.