How Does a Covenant Marriage Affect an Arizona Divorce?

Divorce is a big deal, and couples typically consult with a divorce attorney only when they have determined their marriage is irretrievably broken and that they can no longer continue to live together.  Divorce can change your life in many ways, from altering your financial situation to limiting the time you spend with your children. As a result, most people view divorce as a last resort. Despite this, divorce is still very common and some people think that a part of the reason why is it has become easier for couples to end a marriage since they no longer have to provide specific fault grounds for divorce, like adultery or abuse. 

For those who argue divorce is too easy, some states- including Arizona- have an alternative called covenant marriage. If you entered into a covenant marriage when you got married, you need to understand the impact that this decision will have if you subsequently decide to get a divorce. While you still can end your marriage even if you opted for a covenant marriage, the process of a dissolution will be more challenging.

When you entered into a covenant marriage and you seek to dissolve your union, you will need to speak with an experienced Scottsdale divorce lawyer for help. Your attorney can assist you with the complexities of navigating the laws on divorce for people in a covenant marriage. Your attorney will also help you to do everything possible to get the best possible financial settlement and custody arrangement so you can have a more secure future when your marriage ends. Call Singer Pistiner, P.C. today to speak with a member of our legal team and learn more.

How Does a Covenant Marriage Affect an Arizona Divorce?

The Arizona Courts explain what a covenant marriage is, what the requirements are for entering into a covenant marriage, and how the status as a covenant marriage will affect your ability to divorce. According to the law in Arizona, spouses who entered into a covenant marriage cannot just seek a divorce on no fault grounds and claim irreconcilable differences.

Instead, one of eight specific reasons for the marriage ending (or grounds for divorce) must be proved to the court. These include:

  • Adultery was committed by the spouse that the divorce is filed against. The spouse who committed the adultery cannot file and use adultery as grounds for divorce.
  • The person who the divorce was filed against has been sentenced to imprisonment or death as a result of committing a felony or other serious crime.
  • The spouse who the divorce case has filed against has left home for at least a year (abandoned the home), or is expected to be absent from the home for at least a year. If the absence has not been a year at the time the divorce case is filed, the case will not be dismissed but will instead be put on hold until the one year period has passed. During the one year period, the court may grant spousal and child support and may make a determination on how parents should share parenting time.
  • The spouse who the divorce is filed against has committed physical abuse, sexual abuse, or domestic violence against his or her wife, children, or other relatives.
  • The spouses have been living separately and apart without reconciling for at least two years prior to the divorce case being filed.
  • The spouses were granted a legal separation by the court and have been living apart for at least a year since the legal separation was granted.
  • The spouse who the divorce is filed against has been regularly abusing drugs or alcohol.
  • Both spouses agree to dissolve the marriage.

The fact you must have specific grounds for divorce, rather than filing and claiming irreconcilable differences, is one key factor which makes a covenant marriage different.

How Can A Scottsdale Divorce Attorney Help You End Your Covenant Marriage?

At Singer Pistiner, P.C., we understand that entering into a covenant marriage is a major commitment and that deciding to end that marriage is not something people take lightly. When you have made the choice that you no longer wish to be married, you deserve to have the divorce process go as quickly and smoothly as possible so you can begin the process of establishing your post-married life.  Our legal team works hard to help you to move through the divorce process and overcome the added issues that arise due to your status in a covenant marriage.

To learn more about how we can assist you with ending your marriage and moving on to your future, give us a call today at (480) 418-7011 or contact us online to speak with a Scottsdale divorce attorney. You can also get more information on the process of dissolving a marriage form our Free Divorce Guide.


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