Filing for Divorce After Legal Separation in Arizona

Scottsdale attorneys experienced in turning separation into divorce

If you obtained a legal separation in Arizona, you may be wondering if it’s time to take that final step and get a divorce. The circumstances that held you back may have passed and you’re feeling uncomfortable in that space between marriage and divorce. Obtaining a divorce after legal separation in Arizona is relatively straightforward, but there are still potential snags to be avoided. An experienced divorce attorney at Clark & Schloss Family Law, P.C. can explain the process to you and get you started.

Why divorce after legal separation?

There are many reasons to file for divorce after getting a legal separation, such as:

  • Hope for reconciliation has passed.
  • You want to become eligible for remarriage.
  • Benefits you sought to protect by remaining married have fully vested or are no longer necessary.
  • Your children are fully grown.

If you’ve run out of reasons to remain married, a capable and concerned divorce attorney at our firm can help you more forward into a more secure future.

Does Arizona have a time limit for legal separation?

There is no expiration date for legal separation. You will remain in that status until one of the following occurs:

  • One spouse dies.
  • You reconcile with your spouse and file a motion to vacate the order of legal separation.
  • You get a divorce.

Nevertheless, a legal separation is meant to be temporary and most couples who separate do eventually file for divorce.

Can a legal separation be converted into a divorce if it is not finalized?

Filing for divorce after legal separation in Arizona is identical to initially filing for divorce. The grounds are the same: that marriage is irretrievably broken. If a petition for legal separation has been filed but the case is not yet finalized, either party can request to convert the case to a divorce, even over the other’s objection. However, at least one of the spouses must have lived in Arizona for at least 90 days.

How to file a divorce after legal separation

If you are legally separated and you meet the residency requirement, you can file a petition for dissolution of the marriage at any time. Since you settled your marital issues when you went through the separation, the process should be much simpler. You might want to request different terms for alimony, child custody and/or child support based on changed circumstances. An Arizona uncontested divorce attorney can advise you on how to proceed with seeking these modifications. However, you cannot relitigate your property settlement unless there is evidence of fraud in the prior proceeding.

Can you divorce after legal separation in Arizona if you are no longer a resident?

The Arizona residency requirement applies to at least one party to the divorce. If you are no longer an Arizona resident, but your spouse is, you may file for divorce in the court of the county where your spouse resides.

Contact a Scottsdale divorce attorney for a consultation

Clark & Schloss Family Law, P.C. helps legally separated spouses obtain Arizona divorces quickly and cost-effectively. Call 602-789-3497 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Our Scottsdale office is conveniently located on Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard.