Is Arizona a No Fault Divorce State?
A no-fault state is a state in which you may file for, and be granted, a divorce without alleging or proving any kind of marital misconduct.
In other words, you can get a divorce simply because you no longer want to be married (as long as you don’t have a covenant marriage).
In Arizona all that is required is that the court must make a legal finding that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” to complete the divorce. A finding that the marriage is irretrievably broken is a determination that there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation (meaning that under the law there is no reason to believe the parties might get back together).
What surprises many is that the court may make the “irretrievably broken” finding even if only one party says the marriage is irretrievably broken and the other party says it is not. Both parties do not have to agree, if one party wants a divorce, ultimately, it will be granted.
If your spouse files for divorce and you do not agree that your marriage is “irretrievably broken” (meaning you do not want a divorce), you may file a Petition for Conciliation.
Once the Petition for Conciliation has been accepted neither party can file for divorce or legal separation for a period of 90 days. If an action was filed before the acceptance of the Petition for Conciliation the case may not move forward until the 60 day “cooling off” period expires.
Conciliation Court Services provides a brief conference to assist the parties in making an informed and thoughtful decision regarding their marital relationship. If the parties indicate an interest in trying to save their marriage they may be referred to community-based services for further assistance.
Ultimately, the divorce proceeding will continue if Conciliation Services and/or community-based services does not result in both parties agreeing to remain married.
If you would like more information or if you would like to work with one of our experienced Attorneys, please call OWENS & PERKINS at 480.994.8824 to schedule your free 30 minute consultation.