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Legal Separation in Phoenix

Couples who may have marital issues, but do not want to resort to divorce just yet, may choose a legal separation as an option. Legal separation is a court-approved separation which defines enforceable rights and obligations, but does not permanently end the marriage. Additionally, it terminates the community property obligations between spouses. Legal separation can be attractive for couples who would like to maintain some aspects of the marriage, such as for tax benefits or religious reasons, but live separately and want issues such as child support and property division clarified legally. Legal separation can typically be a precursor to permanent separation, or divorce.

While a legal separation is not as complex as a divorce, it is still recommended that you consult the services of a Phoenix Family Law attorney in determining whether a legal separation is the right option for you.


Recently in Legal Separation Category

Should You Legally Separate and Never Divorce?

Legal separation is being used more often by couples as a proxy for divorce.

During a financial squeeze, married couples often think outside of the box when it comes to divorce. With the hopes of saving on costly divorce expenses, many couples are bidding adieu to their "I do's" outside of the courtroom with a legal separation agreement.

Here are some of the plus-points of indefinite legal separation:

Legal Separation or Divorce: What's the Difference?

Before getting a divorce, many couples try some time apart in the form of a legal separation. It also seems that for some, the divorce never happens. They choose legal separation as a permanent option.

That might be related to costs, since getting a divorce can be expensive. Staying separated also allows those couple to reap the benefits of being legally married without being together.

If you're considering divorce, it might be worthwhile to stop and think about legal separation. Is it for you? Here are a few things to consider:

Conciliation Counseling in Arizona

If you and your spouse are considering divorce in Arizona, you should know that the state does offer conciliation counseling under ARS§ 25-381. According to the Maricopa County Superior Court, conciliation counseling is brief and has the goal of assisting parties in making an informed and thoughtful decision regarding their marital relationship.

Upon completion of the court’s conciliation counseling services, the parties can be referred to community-based counseling services for further assistance if the two parties express such an interest. The final decision regarding a marriage is made between the spouses themselves, where reconciliation of a marriage is never forced upon the spouses during the counseling process.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's Love Child Was A Reason For Separation

The family drama in the Schwarzenegger-Shriver split just got a bit more complicated, as California's former Governor admitted to the media this week that he had fathered a child with one of his household staff members and that he had kept the secret from his wife for 10 years.

The 10-year-old love child is a reason why the 25-year marriage between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver is coming to an end. ABC News reports that the woman with whom Schwarzenegger reportedly fathered the child worked for the family until January of this year.

Schwarzenegger apparently continues to provide for the child financially.

Raising Sextuplets Star Jenny Masche Files For Legal Separation

Bryan and Jenny Masche, the parents on the reality television show Raising Sextuplets, seem to be facing a rough patch within their relationship. New York Daily News reports that the mother of the famous Sextuplets filed for legal separation at the Yavapi County Superior Court on September 17.

Sean Penn and Robin Wright Divorce

A judge in Marin County, California signed off on the divorce between actors Sean Penn and Robin Wright, making their divorce officially finalized. Their split, which became official on July 27, shows just how complicated a divorce can get.

E! Online reports that "Forrest Gump" star Robin Wright first filed for divorce in December 2007, but withdrew the divorce petition in April 2008. The couple then filed for legal separation in 2009, but their case was later dismissed after the two reconciled. Later that year, Robin Wright's divorce filed the divorce papers for a second time, citing irreconcilable differences.

Rapper DMX and his Wife Tashera Simmons Announce Separation

Just two weeks after the rapper DMX was released from a Phoenix jail, his wife Tashera Simmons announced that she would be separating from the rapper after 11 years of marriage. The two have four children together, so there's a good reason for a Phoenix family law attorney to get involved in their separation.

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.

Karenna Gore Schiff Separates From Her Husband

It looks like some of the Gores are having trouble with their marriages. According to New York Daily News, Karenna Gore Schiff, who is the daughter of former Vice President Al Gore, recently split up from her husband of 12 years and the estranged couple have been going to marriage counseling sessions.

Perhaps Karenna Gore Schiff will be facing more family law trouble than her father because she has three young children with her husband Drew Schiff. Since the separation, both Al and Tipper Gore have been helping Karenna with the kids who are now ages 10, 8, and 3.

What is the Parent Information Program?

Parents who are involved in the process of divorce or legal separation in Arizona are usually required to attend a parent information program that is intended to teach parents about the impact of restructuring of families on children.

This is a requirement under the Arizona law ARS§ 25-351: "Domestic Relations Education on Children's Issues," which states that each county must implement an educational program that educates families on how judicial involvement can affect children. Under this law, the Superior Court of Maricopa County has implemented the Parent Information Program (PIP).