Arizona Divorce Laws 6

In: Arizona

Divorce Law Basics in the State of Arizona

Also See:

Arizona Marriage Laws


Arizona State Divorce Code (Title 25, Chapter 3, Article 2, Sections 311 to 330):

Arizona allows couples to choose which laws will govern their divorce in the event the marriage ends. This choice is made before the marriage ceremony takes place and the couple may choose between a simple no-fault divorce or what is called a “covenant marriage“.

If they choose the no fault option, they must still wait the designated separation period before the divorce can proceed and they are not able to allege additional ground in the event that a divorce does occur.

Should they choose the covenent marriage, both parties must agree to pre-marital counseling and have limited grounds to choose from in the event the marriage goes sour.

No-Fault Grounds:

  • Irretrievable breakdown

At-Fault Grounds (Covenant Marriage):

  • Adultery
  • Conviction of a felony
  • Abandonment of marital home for at least 1 year prior to filing
  • Sexual or domestic abuse
  • Spouses have lived apart for at least two years prior to filing without reconciliation
  • Spouses have lived apart for at least one year prior to filing after legal separation entered
  • Habitual drug or alcohol use
  • Both spouses agree to dissolution


90 days (either party)

Legal Separation Recognized?


Counseling Requirements:

In the case of a covenant marriage, the court may order mediation or counseling to try and reconcile the marriage or help the parties reach an amicable settlement.

Property Distribution:

Arizona is a community property state. Separate property, such as property acquired prior to the marriage or through an inheritance is not included in the community property distribution


Alimony may be awarded to either party for one of the following reasons: a spouse cannot sufficiently provide for his or her self, a spouse is unable to seek outside employment because he or she is caring for a child who’s condition or age makes employment unfeasible, a spouse contributed to the higher education of the other or the marriage lasted for a long period of time and the spouse’s age makes finding outside employment difficult.


  • Carol Berrett

    In Arizona, how does an accusation of “emotional abuse” affect a divorce proceeding? How is such a thing proven? How does one defend against such an accusation if it is false? Also, how does one defend against a charge of “domestic violence” when in fact the husband has never, ever laid a hand on the wife?

  • M. Mazzei

    In general, claims of emotional and physical abuse have the most impact on court’s decision regarding child custody. These types of claims can be proven and defended against by the testimony of the spouses and any other third party witness, and can be supported by photographs, medical records and police reports.

    If there has been actual abuse you may want to read about how to stop domestic violence.

    Otherwise you may at least want check with the appropriate government departments in your state (ie: the department of domestic abuse)

  • Terri

    my husband and i have been married 10 years together for 8 years. Just recently found out he has been cheating on me for a year. Can i sue the other women for alimony?

  • Lisa

    Greetings, married in 1993 divorced in 2008. Both names are on the title of the marital home. In November of 2006, I left Arizona for a 3 month externship in NYC also to stay with my ailing mother. I had been a housewife for the duration of the marriage, only had seasonal part-time jobs. While I was doing my externship, the ex-husband decided that he would tell me over the phone that he wants a divorce. I was in shock, as I was near the end of the externship to head back to my house. That never happened, I did all the footwork from NYC to get all the documents in order for a default decree from the maricopa courts. In the decree we have decided that I will get 60% of the house, since I did not take any alimony, 50-50 was to be the credit cards and he still owes me for that. I had been making payments on them entirely. All of my belongings are still at the marital home, I have not had the money nor the time to go there to sort out my stuff. The ex has been living there and paying mortgage which is considerably lower than if he was renting. He recently re-financed and due to the economy we cannot put it to market as of yet. It’s been 4 years and I still have not been able to get out there. However, I have re-married and I wish to live there now…What’s the best way to go about it,,,He is welcome to stay and continue to pay his portion …but I am not sure if he wants that…I want my home back…It’s been dreadful…

  • Robet

    My wife had an affair and left me and my kids. To this day she is still with him. what are my rights such as kids and money?

  • kota55

    My daughter got a divorce from her husband after 15 years. When going over assets he had his state retirement which he failed to list however she advised the judge that not only did he have it he had already withdrew it fromthe retirement system. The judge ordered him to pay her the 1/2 she was entitled to. He kept stalling the payment. Finally after telling the judge all this time he had it we found out he had spent the entire amount, telling people she would never get a cent. She got a judgement against him. She could never serve it due to the fact his jobs never big enough pay. Now he is fileing bankruptcy. Can the judge dismiss this debt or since it was court ordered and state law can he deny it. Without this debt not sure he owes enough to actually file for bankruptcy.