1. Do I have to get divorced in the same state I was married in?

No. Regardless of where you were married, you may seek a divorce in Arizona if the jurisdictional requirements of residency are met and the marriage is not considered void in Arizona. The law that will be applied is Arizona law, not the law of the place you were married.

  1. How long must I have lived in the state to obtain a divorce?

Each state has specific rules. In Arizona, either you or your spouse must have been domiciled (where you intend to permanently reside) in Arizona for at least ninety days prior to the filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage to meet the residency requirement for a divorce in Arizona. If neither party meets the residency requirement, other legal options are still available for your protection. If you do not meet the ninety-day residency requirement, talk to your attorney about options such as a legal separation, a petition for legal decision-making and parenting time if there are minor children, or an order of protection.

  1. What is a void marriage?

States will not grant a divorce if the marriage is not recognized as a valid marriage. A void marriage is one between certain members of a family, such as between brothers and sisters, grandparents and grandchildren, and aunts and uncles. In some states, marriages between first cousins are also void.

About the Author:

Marlene Pontrelli is a Member in our Phoenix office. Marlene is a certified specialist in family law. Her practice focuses on all aspects of family law including dissolution, post-dissolution, paternity, child custody and child support matters. She is admitted to practice in California and Arizona. She is a member of the State Bar’s Family Law Practice and Procedure Committee and is a judge pro tem for the Superior Court of Maricopa County in family law. She has extensive trial and appellate experience including appearing before the Arizona Court of Appeals, Arizona Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ms. Pontrelli has written several books, including as a co-author of the Divorce in Arizona book. She is a frequent lecturer in the area of family law and has conducted workshops throughout the country. Ms. Pontrelli is also an adjunct professor at The Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law at Arizona State University, where she teaches the family law class. Marlene may be reached in our Phoenix office at 602-285-5081.