Scottsdale Gray Divorce Attorneys

What You Need to Know About Gray Divorce in Phoenix & Scottsdale, AZ

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Gray Divorce

What is it?

Gray divorce is a term that refers to divorces between couples who are 50 years of age or older. These tend to be longer marriages, most commonly marriages of 20-30 years. But, of course, we see marriages of all lengths in this demographic from a few months to some lasting close to 50 years. Gray divorces have become increasingly common and now account for approximately one-fourth of all divorces in the United States.

Typically, the only issues to be resolved are the financial issues of separating the marital property and determining if any spousal maintenance should be awarded. Gray divorces tend to involve higher assets than other divorces because the parties have acquired more assets. Many gray divorces are also marriages that have lasted several decades.

Why should I use Best Law Firm for my gray divorce?

Best Law Firm has helped hundreds of people 50 and older get divorced. Our attorneys know how to effectively represent clients who are 50 and older. Our attorneys amicable and tough. We work toward a fair resolution without compromising your interests. Settlement is a part of our game plan, but we are always ready to go to trial to protect for your interests.

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Special Issues in Gray Divroce

Four Major Issues in Gray Divorce

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Alternatives to Gray Divorce

Common Causes of Gray Divorce & Alternative to Divorce

Growing Apart

Sometimes, married couples lose the spark they had when they were first married, develop different interests, and begin drift apart.

Empty Nest Syndrome

Many people wait until their children are grown and moved out of the home before initiating divorce proceedings. But for other gray couples, it was when their children move out that they discover they do not have much in common.

Finances and Spending Habits

Financial concerns become magnified as people age and worry about affording retirement or how much longer they will be able to work. These concerns can cause conflict when one spouse believes the other spouse is overspending.

Longer Life Expectancy

Life expectancies continue to rise. Most Americans can now plan on living into their eighties, and increasingly many Americans are living into their nineties.

Clashes between Active and Passive Lifestyles

Sometimes, one spouse wants an active retirement—they want to be on the go, attending events, participating in activities, and socializing, and the other spouse wants a quiet retirement and is content to stay inside, watch TV, and do a crossword. There is not really a wrong or right way to live, but the differences between these lifestyles can create tensions within a marriage.

Addictions

Senior citizens are not immune to addictions. Alcohol and gambling addictions are the most prevalent among seniors.

Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce

How long will it take to get a divorce?

According to Arizona Revised Statute, section 25-329 and Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure 4.1(c), you must wait at least 60 days from the date your spouse was served before going to Court and having the Decree of Dissolution of Marriage entered. This assumes you and your spouse have agreed on the terms or your spouse is in default. When the spouses cannot agree on how to settle issues such as assets and debts, the length of time to get divorced can be longer. If you litigate the issues, it can take a year or longer.

Where do I file for my divorce?

There are currently four courthouse locations in Maricopa County, which are located Downtown, Northeast, Northwest and Southeast (see resource guide for other county courthouses).

What if my spouse filed and I do not want to get divorced?

You cannot stop your spouse from divorcing you but you can file a request with the court to order a one hour conciliation meeting to try and reconcile. These rules change, depending on the budget, there may be a fee associated with reconciliation. During this “time out” for 60 days, there can be no “discovery” (see glossary) taking place.

What is a Covenant Marriage?

You will most likely know if you have one of these; it is an optional type of marriage created by the state legislature that requires partners to complete marital counseling prior to marrying and to sign a special declaration to obtain a marriage license. In a covenant marriage, a legal separation or gray divorce may be granted only for certain reasons listed in state law. The law regarding covenant marriages can be found in Sections 25-901 through 25-906 of the Arizona Revised Statutes.

What is a divorce "Decree?"

A Decree of Dissolution of Marriage is the final order of the Court which makes each party a single person again, and includes separate orders concerning child custody and visitation, child support, division of property and debts, spousal maintenance and any other appropriate orders. The Decree is the final order of the court legally ending the marriage. Spouses are not “divorced” until the court grants the divorce and the Decree is signed by the judge. A Decree of Dissolution is a court order and can be enforced just as any other order of the Court.

What if I do not have money to pay the filing or fee?

You may request that the Court waive or postpone payment of the filing or response fees. Forms must be completed and signed by you and submitted to the Court. The forms are free of charge and are available in the office of the Clerk of Superior Court.

How much does it cost to file for divorce in Maricopa County?

The Petitioner (initiator of the divorce) must pay Maricopa County $349.00 as of March, 2010 and the Respondent pays $274.00 for filing an answer.

Can my spouse and I file for divorce together?

No, Arizona does not have a provision for any type of joint filing.

Do I need an attorney for my divorce?

Arizona law allows you to do this yourself. You are considered pro se or pro per; you must follow all the same rules as parties with attorneys. You may have to go into a courtroom but you are held to the standard of an attorney.

Is it possible to represent myself in court?

Yes, as it is not a requirement that you have an attorney to represent you in divorce proceedings. However, the same rules and procedures apply whether you have an attorney or not, which means all papers must be correctly completed and filed on time.

When is my dissolution final?

A dissolution of marriage is final after the judge or commissioner takes testimony, signs the Decree and files it with the Clerk of the Court.

I cannot afford health insurance. If I file for divorce, can my husband stop paying for it while we are in the divorce proceedings?

No. After one spouse is served with the dissolution or legal separation documents, no insurance of any kind can be canceled or modified to the detriment of the other spouse.

Who actually divorces me?

The divorce decree will be from the Judge or Commissioner assigned to your case who works for the Superior Court of Maricopa County, which is a state court.

Am I considered the "bad guy" if I file first?

Someone has to be the Petitioner and someone has to be the Respondent. There is no advantage or disadvantage to either (other than perhaps assignment of the courthouse nearest to the Petitioner).

Does it matter if my spouse was having an affair?

No, Arizona is a “no-fault state,” which means that the court does not require that one spouse prove blame or responsibility in order to end the marriage. However, in Covenant Marriage (see below), a court will not enter a decree of dissolution of marriage unless certain criteria are met. (See Arizona Revised Statute, Section 25-903 for the specific requirements).

What if I change my mind after starting a divorce?

If you and your spouse decide to stay married, the divorce case can be canceled or “dismissed” by filing a request with the Clerk of Superior Court and signed by both parties.

Who can start a divorce case?

In Arizona, either spouse can ask the court for a divorce. A divorce is not awarded to either spouse; rather, it simply changes the status of the marriage relationship.

Will I have a jury if my divorce proceeds to trial?

No, if your case is litigated, you will not have a jury. One judge will make all the decisions that the parties cannot agree on.

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