Arizona is a no-fault divorce state, which means you do not need to provide, or prove, grounds for divorce. The Court does need to determine that the marriage is irretrievably broken, and that there is no realistic chance of resolving irreconcilable differences. It can be as simple as one party citing incompatibility and no longer wishing to be married.
Financial Problems Are the Main Cause of Divorce in Arizona
Financial problems are the top reason clients give to divorce lawyers Tabitha A. Jecmen and Andi C. Lawrence of the family law firm Lawrence & Jecmen PLLC.
These financial problems often surround spending of money and associated debt. Typically, because Arizona is a community property state, debts that are created during the marriage are shared by the parties, regardless of which spouse incurred the debt. Understanding what debts exist and whether they are community or separate, is critical in the divorce process and the ultimate determination in dividing assets and debts.
Domestic Abuse Remains One of the Most Common Causes of Divorce in Arizona
Violence in the home is another leading cause for divorce in Arizona, Jecmen and Lawrence observe, as it is throughout the nation.
Arizona ranks fairly high for domestic violence, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. More than 42% of women and 33% of men in Arizona reported violence or stalking from an intimate partner.
Alcohol and Substance Abuse is Associated with Spousal Abuse and Higher Divorce Rates
Individuals who are addicted to alcohol or drugs are more likely to be violent toward their spouses, partners, and children according to the Addiction Group, which also finds that violence tends to escalate over time. Victims of domestic violence are at risk to become substance abusers themselves.
Lawrence and Jecmen note that evidence of drug and alcohol abuse impacts issues related to legal-decision-making and parenting time (also known as child custody).
Domestic Violence and Divorce is High Among Younger, Imprisoned Spouses
Criminal Acts Can Lead to Divorce
Anecdotal evidence suggests that couples separate when one partner is charged with particularly heinous crime, such as crimes against children.
In addition to “guilt by association” that can impact their careers and overall well-being, these spouses might also be held responsible for 50% of tax owed for income that came from criminal activity – unless they can prove they had no awareness of any criminal activity. In Arizona, filing for legal separation or divorce may help to minimize the economic fallout.
Infidelity Has No Legal Impact on Divorce but it’s a Common Reason for One
You might be surprised to learn that infidelity, one of the most common reasons for divorce, is a crime pursuant to Arizona law at A.R.S. § 13-1408, and a class 3 misdemeanor. However, it’s almost never prosecuted, and the statute is considered one of many antiquated laws lingering on Arizona’s books.
Typically, the only time infidelity becomes an issue in a divorce case is if one spouse expended large sums of money in connection with an affair. In such case, a divorce attorney, and perhaps an accountant explore whether community funds were used in a way that did not benefit the community. For example, purchasing jewelry or taking vacations in conjunction with extramarital affairs.
You Need a Divorce Lawyer Even with No Fault Laws
No-fault laws may mean it’s easier to obtain a divorce, but it doesn’t address the complexities of dividing debts and assets, and in addressing all the issues that arise with children. Family and friends may be eager to offer advice based on their own experiences, but you need a lawyer who can advise you about your specific situation.
If you are facing separation or divorce, contact the family law attorneys Lawrence & Jecmen for a consultation. We will give you straightforward advice and have the experience and skills to support you in and out of court.