Know rights, rules for divorce in Arizona

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Divorce can be a difficult and emotional period. Often times, partners are left with many questions about where to go and what to do to obtain a divorce. The Air Force has recognized that divorce of military members can have an indirect impact on the overall mission. As part of this recognition, the Air Force seeks to educate members and their spouses on the legal aspects of obtaining a divorce.

Divorce is a court process to legally end a marriage. In Arizona, divorce is known as a "dissolution of marriage". In a dissolution of marriage, the court is granted the authority to divide property and debts acquired during the marriage.

Listed below are the answers to common questions if you're considering getting a divorce in the state of Arizona.

How do I get a divorce in Arizona?

Typically, a state must have jurisdiction over the marriage before a divorce can be instituted in that jurisdiction. For example, any state where the marriage certificate was filed will have jurisdiction over the marriage. Arizona also has jurisdictional requirements that must be met before divorce proceedings can begin. Contrary to many states, one spouse must have lived in Arizona for at least 90 days to meet the requirements.

Where do I get the forms to begin?

Forms can be obtained at the county clerk's office or at http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/ssc/sschome. html.

Do I have to pay to file a divorce?

The spouse filing the petition is referred to as the petitioner. A filing fee is required for filing the petition. In the event the petitioner can't pay the filing fee, they can ask the court to postpone or forgive payment by filing a written application with the county clerk of the superior court.

What if children are involved?

In the event children are involved in the divorce, it is highly recommended the parties retain an attorney to wade through various child custody and support issues that may arise.

If you have any questions, please click the "Divorce in Arizona" link on the Luke Air Force Base judge advocate Web site or call the base legal office at (623) 856-6901.