Adultery and divorce are two topics that often go hand in hand. In Arizona, adultery is considered grounds for divorce. If you are considering filing for divorce, it is important to understand the facts about adultery and its impact on the process. Here are 5 fast facts about adultery and divorce in Arizona:
Fast Fact #1. Adultery is still considered a crime in Arizona and can be grounds for divorce.
If you are married and your spouse commits adultery, it can be grounds for divorce in Arizona. Adultery is defined as sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than their spouse. If you have proof that your spouse committed adultery, you can file for divorce on those grounds.
Fast Fact #2. Arizona is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce.
This means that a spouse does not have to prove that the other spouse did something wrong to get a divorce. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. One exception is if a spouse can prove that the other spouse committed adultery.
In Arizona, adultery is defined as having sexual intercourse with someone other than your spouse. If you are caught committing adultery, you may be subject to criminal charges. However, this is rare. The more likely consequence of being caught committing adultery is that it may affect your divorce settlement.
Fast Fact #3. Arizona is a community property state.
This means that all assets and debts acquired during a marriage are considered to be owned equally by both spouses – except for gifts and inheritances. This includes money earned, property purchased, and even adultery-related expenses. If you file for divorce in Arizona and your spouse can prove that you committed adultery, they may be able to receive a portion of the assets gained as a result of the affair. However, if you can prove that your spouse was unfaithful first, you may be able to get a larger share of the marital property.
Keep inherited assets separate at all times, since there is a possibility of divorce in the future. Another approach to safeguard an inheritance is to have your spouse sign a postnuptial agreement, which states that regardless of how it is utilized during the marriage, you are still entitled to receive it.
Fast Fact #4. Couples can choose to file for an uncontested or contested divorce in Arizona.
If they choose to file for an uncontested divorce, it means that both parties have agreed to the terms of the divorce and do not need to go to trial. An uncontested divorce is typically quicker and cheaper, but it doesn’t allow couples to negotiate how they want to divide their assets and debts. If a couple chooses to file for a contested divorce, it means that they are unable to agree on the terms of the divorce and will need to go to trial.
Fast fact #5. In Arizona, there is a type of marriage called “covenant marriage.”
A covenant marriage is created when you apply for your marriage license or when you subsequently convert your marriage to a covenant marriage. You probably don’t have a covenant marriage if you don’t know what one is. Covenant marriages, unlike traditional no-fault divorce in Arizona, may only be terminated for reasons listed under the terms of the contract.
- unlawful usage of drugs or alcohol
- if the spouse, child(ren), or family has been subjected to domestic violence
- For more than two years, they have been living separately and without reconciliation.
- felony conviction
- both spouses consent to the dissolution.
- After a year or more of living apart, after a legal separation is won, you may file for divorce.
- more than a year of abandonment
Marital Status Bifurcation
Bifurcation occurs when both spouses in a divorce are legally designated as a single person while the remaining issues in their divorce are pending. It has no bearing on things such as child custody, visitation, child support, alimony, or other contentious issues that could have stalled or grown into major stumbling blocks preventing the divorce from being finalized.
A spouse’s default occurs when the marriage fails.
In Arizona, unless a spouse waives service and files a waiver with the court, copies of the divorce petition must be served on him or her once the petition is filed. Otherwise, if the petition is served in Arizona, a spouse has 20 days to answer, and if it is served outside of Arizona, a spouse has 30 days to respond.
If the spouse does not reply within the allotted timeframe, the petitioner may apply for a default. A spouse who fails to respond in ten days will be deemed to have accepted all of the conditions sought by the petitioner, and a divorce will be granted with those terms. After a 60-day cooling-off period, the default will become final.
In Arizona, you must be physically present in the state at the time of the infidelity to file for divorce on account of adultery. You won’t be able to use adultery as a basis for divorce if you weren’t living in Arizona at the moment of the affair.
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