Divorce Lawyer FAQ’s
How long do you have to live in Arizona to file for Divorce?
Arizona state law requires you to be domiciled in the state for at least 90 days before you can file for a Divorce. Your domicile is the place you consider your permanent home, and intend to live, not just where you’re staying temporarily. If children are involved, the children need to live in Arizona for at least six (6) consecutive months before a Divorce can be filed.
Do I have to Change my Name?
You are not required to change your name as part of the Divorce process. However, if you decide you want to take back your maiden name, you can make this Request either in the initial Divorce Petition or at any time during the Divorce Process for a Formal Order restoring your maiden/birth name.
Can I Stay in My House, or Force my Spouse to Move Out?
Yes, with some exceptions. If the home is your spouse’s sole and Separate Property, then they can initiate an eviction action against you, forcing you to vacate the home. This route would require a separate Civil Action outside of the Divorce Process with a real estate Attorney. If your spouse makes allegations that you committed acts of domestic violence against them and obtains an Order of Protection, you will be forced to leave the home.
Should I file first?
Whether you file first will not make any difference regarding any of the legal elements of your divorce. However, there may be some advantages to filing first. For example, the person who files for the divorce is called the Petitioner. The other spouse is called the Respondent.
Additionally, the person filing first determines the “Venue” of the action. The Venue is the location of the Court in which the case is heard. Although most spouses live in the same county, this may be important if you live in a different county or state than your spouse.
Also, filing for Divorce triggers Protection for Community Assets and limits your liability for community debts. When you file for Divorce, the court issues a Preliminary Injunction. This Injunction—among other requirements—prevents either spouse from Wasting or concealing Community Property and makes any debts your spouse is incurring their sole and separate obligation. The Preliminary Injunction is effective against you when you file for Divorce and effective against your spouse when they are served with the Petition, Injunction, and other Initial Pleadings.
Finally, at the Trial, the Petitioner presents his or her entire case first. Then, the Respondent presents their case. After the Petitioner can present “Rebuttal Additional Evidence” at the final Divorce Trial after the Respondent concludes his or her case. This procedure gives the Petitioner the last word before the Judge makes his or her decision.