In Arizona, “Legal Separation” can be for either an unlimited time period, or for a very brief time period, depending on your individual situation. Once a judge has determined that one spouse wishes to live separate and apart from the other spouse, or that there is an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage,” then he can issue the decree known as a “Legal Separation.” One of the primary benefits of a legal separation is that it not only leaves open the possibility of “Reconciliation,” it also will protect you from your spouse’s future debts and obligations which they may incur after separation. If you or your spouse file an objection to the legal separation (that you wish to simply proceed to divorce), then it will be amended to a “Petition for Dissolution.” This is the point where the divorce process begins. However, if you wish to initially proceed with the legal separation, this will also resolve issues involving “Child Custody,” “Child Support,” “Property Division,” visitation, debt issues and other concerns which would normally follow in a divorce proceeding. The difference is, the marriage would still be intact at the end of this process, thereby leaving the possibility of reconciliation. Most people proceed with a legal separation over divorce for religious reasons (usually associated with the Catholic Church), or in an effort to try and reconcile at a later date.
Contact us or call The Cantor Law Group at (602)254-8880 immediately for a free initial consultation designed to provide helpful information regarding “Legal Separation” as it applies to your individual situation.