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Changing a Legal Separation to a Divorce

Phoenix family lawyers not only deal with legal issues relating to divorce, but also represent clients who are going through a legal separation. But what happens if you have filed for legal separation, but change your mind and would instead like to completely end your marriage? Can you convert that request for legal separation to a petition for a Dissolution of Marriage?

In the state of Arizona, the answer is yes. In fact, Phoenix family lawyers say that if you change your mind about legal separation and would like to go ahead with a divorce, the process is very simple. According to the Maricopa County Superior Court's website, the petitioner can file an amended petition to convert the legal separation to a dissolution of marriage under the same came number, as long as the legal separation case is not yet final. Before the case is final, the respondent in a legal separation case may also indicate in the response that he or she wishes to convert the legal separation into a dissolution.

If the legal separation case has already been made final, the petitioner or the respondent may also file for a dissolution of marriage using the same case number assigned to the legal separation case, but there will be an additional filing fee for the new petition for the divorce. Since the process of dividing property is often similar in legal separation cases to divorce cases, there doesn't necessarily have to be very many changes when changing a legal separation petition to a divorce petition. See our Related Resources links to learn more about the differences between legal separation and divorce.

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