What a Wife is Entitled to in an Arizona Divorce

The divorce process can be difficult and overwhelming to go through alone. Understanding the divorce laws in your state can make the process less daunting. Here is everything you need to know about what a wife is entitled to in an Arizona divorce.

In Arizona, a wife may be entitled to spousal support, child custody, child support, and a fair portion of the marital property. The court will consider a variety of factors when deciding what each spouse is entitled to.

Arizona Divorce Laws

Arizona law provides the following requirements for filing a divorce:

  • One of the parties must have resided in Arizona for 90 days before filing the petition for dissolution of marriage; or
  • One of the parties is an armed forces member, and they have maintained their military presence in Arizona for at least 90 days before the filing.

Is a Wife Entitled to Spousal Support in Arizona?

Spousal support (also referred to as alimony or spousal maintenance) is a court order requiring one spouse to make payments to support the other spouse’s standard of living after a divorce. When deciding whether to award alimony to a spouse, the court will consider the following factors:

  • Whether the spouse lacks sufficient property to provide for that spouse’s reasonable needs (this includes property apportioned to the spouse);
  • Whether the spouse can gain employment to be self-sufficient, or if they lack adequate earning ability in the labor market to be self-sufficient;
  • Whether the spouse has made a significant contribution, financially or otherwise, to the other spouse’s education, training, vocational skills, career, or earning ability;
  • Whether the marriage was of long duration and the spouse has reached an age where they cannot gain adequate employment to be self-sufficient; and
  • Whether the spouse has decreased their own income/ career opportunities to benefit the other spouse.

Related: Types of Divorce: What Are My Divorce Options?

If a spouse qualifies for alimony, the court will look at the same factors to decide the amount of spousal support they should receive. Additionally, the court will consider the following:

  • The standard of living during the marriage;
  • The length of the marriage;
  • The age, employment history, earning powers, and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking spousal maintenance;
  • The spouse’s ability to pay spousal maintenance;
  • The spouses’ comparative financial resources and earning abilities in the labor market;
  • The amount of time the spouse seeking maintenance will need to acquire sufficient education/training to gain adequate employment.

Is a Wife Entitled to Child Custody in Arizona?

Arizona recognizes two types of custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is a parent’s right to make major decisions regarding a child’s life. Physical custody refers to the parent that a child lives with. The court can decide to award joint legal decision-making to both parents or sole legal-decision making to one parent.

Arizona law does not favor one parent over the other and considers the child’s best interests in legal decisions. If the parents cannot agree on a child-custody arrangement, the court will consider the following when deciding child custody and parenting time:

  • The past, present, and potential future relationships of the parent and child;
  • The child’s relationship with the parent, the child’s siblings, and any other person that affects the child’s best interests;
  • The child’s adjustment to home, school, and the community;
  • The wishes of the child regarding legal-decision making and parenting time (if the child is of suitable age and maturity);
  • The mental and physical health of all parties involved;
  • The likelihood of a parent encouraging a relationship between the child and the other parent;
  • The presence of past/current domestic violence or child abuse;
  • Whether a parent has intentionally misled the court to gain child custody or has placed the other parent under duress to obtain a child-custody agreement;
  • Whether a parent has falsely reported child or neglect.

Is a Wife Entitled to Child Support in Arizona?

Child support is a court-ordered payment made by a noncustodial parent to support their child financially. The court will consider the following factors when deciding to order child support, and if so, the amount that a parent should pay:

  • The child’s financial resources and needs;
  • The custodial and noncustodial parents’ financial resources and needs;
  • The standard of living of the child if they lived in an intact home with both parents;
  • The child’s physical and emotional condition;
  • The child’s educational needs;
  • The child’s medical support plan;
  • The length of parenting time and related expenses.

Related: Contested and Uncontested Divorce: The Difference

What Assets Is a Wife Entitled to in Arizona?

There are two types of property: separate property and community/marital property. Separate property is the property that a spouse owned before the marriage or that a spouse receives as a gift or inherited during the marriage. Marital property is any asset that either spouse acquires during the marriage. Arizona law does not require a 50/50 split of marital property; however, the division should be equitable. A divorce attorney could help you determine your assets’ value, distinguish between marital and separate property, and ensure a fair division of assets.

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