For many couples, legal separation comes before formally filing for divorce. This designation can last, for an unlimited period of time. It is an attractive first step in situations where couples feel there may be chance for reconciliation between them. Both spouses must be in agreement to proceed with legal separation. In the event that it is determined a divorce is the best action forward, one spouse can file a Petition to convert legal separation to a Dissolution. Dissolution in this case refers to the dissolution of the marriage officially triggering the start of the divorce process.
Dissolution of Marriage
The process of dissolution was once known as a divorce in instances where irreconcilable differences form the grounds for dissolution or divorce (Note that irreconcilable differences are the only grounds recognized for divorce cases in Arizona.) In this case, only one party must want the divorce to happen, and it is not necessary that either party be found at fault in the dissolution.
Following the petition for dissolution, most proceedings will follow one of two outcomes: an uncontested divorce, in which the spouse that does not file for dissolution does not file a response to that dissolution, or a contested divorce, in which one spouse contests the petition for dissolution that has been filed. Most often uncontested divorces end with an out-of-court settlement agreement or a default judgment. Contested divorces can also end with an out-of-court settlement agreement, and often do after both parties and their attorneys complete some additional work––likely including, preliminary injunction, service of process and discovery––before reaching an agreement. If an agreement cannot be reached, a trial is the next step.
The above is but a general outline of a complex and highly personal process. If you are in need of an affordable Tempe divorce attorney to advise, guide and represent you, look no further than Simon Law Group. We have more than 30 years of experience in family law and will do everything in our power to make the process of ending your marriage as painless as possible and protect you during this trying time.