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Arizona Dissolution of Marriage Definitions

This collection of definitions will help clarify some unique characteristics to the Arizona Dissolution of Marriage laws, process and paperwork which is filed with the court.

Filing Party Title:
Petitioner

The spouse who will initiate the Dissolution of Marriage by filing the required paperwork with the court.

Non-Filing Party Title:
Respondent

The spouse who does not initiate the Dissolution of Marriage with the court.

Court Name:
In the Superior Court in and for the County of __________ , Arizona

The proper name of the court in which a Dissolution of Marriage is filed in the state of Arizona. Each jurisdictional court typically has a domestic relations or a family law department or division.

Child Support Enforcement Website:
http://www.de.state.az.us/dcse/

The state run office devoted to enforcing existing child support orders and collecting any past due child support.

Document Introduction:
In Re the Marriage of:

The lead-in verbiage used in the legal caption or header of the documents filed with the court. The introduction typically prefaces both spouse’s names.

Initial Dissolution of Marriage Document:
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

The title and name of the legal document that will initiate the Arizona Dissolution of Marriage process. The filing spouse is also required to provide the non-filing spouse a copy of this document.

Final Dissolution of Marriage Document:
Decree of Dissolution of Marriage

The title and name of the legal document that will finalize the Arizona Dissolution of Marriage process. This document will be signed by the judge, master, or referee of the court to declare your marriage officially terminated.

Clerk’s Office Name:
County Clerk’s Office of the Superior Court

The office of the clerk that will facilitate the Dissolution of Marriage process. This is the title you would address letters to or ask for when contacting the courthouse.

Legal Separation:

Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage or that 1 spouse desires to live separate and apart are the grounds for legal separation in Arizona. However, if the marriage is a "covenant marriage," the grounds for legal separation are the same as the grounds for a general dissolution of a "covenant marriage" listed above, under Legal Grounds for Dissolution of Marriage. One of the spouses must live in the state of Arizona when the action for legal separation is filed. No residency time limit is specified. If 1 spouse objects to a legal separation, the case will be amended to be an action for dissolution of the marriage. [Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated; Title 25, Chapters 313, 901, and 903]. SIMPLIFIED OR SPECIAL DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE

Property Distribution:
Community Property

The applicable Arizona law that will dictate how property and debt is to be divided upon Dissolution of Marriage.