LEGAL SEPARATION IN ARIZONA
If you are considering legal separation in Arizona, our Family Law Paralegals, Kellie E. DiCarlo and Melanie Vache, are here to guide you through the process and provide comprehensive support in preparing your legal documents. Legal separation can be a practical alternative to divorce, offering many of the same benefits while allowing couples to maintain certain legal ties.
Kellie is the owner and designated principle of Arizona Legal Document Services, L.L.C., with over 30 years of legal experience. Kellie has served on the Family Court Improvement Committee at the Arizona Supreme Court since 2019 and also served on the Child Support Guidelines Review Subcommittee for the current 2022 Guidelines. You may reach Kellie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Melanie is certified as a legal document preparer with several years experience. She has a bachelor degree in Psychology. Melanie is a divorce paralegal that assists clients in the Mesa office. Kellie and Melanie are a Mother/Daughter team. You may reach Melanie at email@example.com or 480-307-9306.
Please be aware that:
Once your legal separation is complete and you receive a Legal Separation Decree, there are only two options to change it: proceed with a dissolution of marriage or terminate the legal separation.
Dissolution of Marriage:
You are required to go through the same process to dissolve your marriage as the legal separation. Typically, you adopt the orders from your legal separation into your dissolution of marriage. It is possible to modify the terms through an agreement.
Termination of Legal Separation:
At any time after entry of a final decree of legal separation that has not subsequently been converted into a decree of dissolution of marriage, the parties may stipulate to termination of the decree of legal separation. The statute for this process went into place in September 2022.
Legal Separation Without Children
We charge $500 for our package price. This is a start to finish price for the terms set forth below. We also file your documents with the Court, deliver to your judge, coordinate service of process when required and track the appropriate time periods.
Legal Separation With Children
We charge $600 for our package price. This is a start to finish price for the terms set forth below. We also file your documents with the Court, deliver to your judge, coordinate service of process when required and track the appropriate time periods.
Summary Consent Decree Process
Default Decree Process
Contested Legal Separation
Summary Consent Decree Process:
The Summary Consent Decree process may also be used for a legal separation or converting your legal separation to a dissolution of marriage.
That the parties are in complete agreement on all issues.
Both parties are willing to sign the required documents.
The parties do not have a covenant marriage.
The documents to initiate and complete the case are prepared, signed and submitted at the same time.
Service is not required.
The required 60-day waiting period begins from the date of filing, not the date of service.
The court filing fee is less expensive than the combined separate court filing fee for each party.
Default Decree Process:
This process may be utilized when the parties cannot reach an agreement, the other party refuses to be involved in the process, or the Petitioner cannot locate the other party for service.
We complete this process by scheduling a virtual default hearing.
This process requires multiple steps. We assist you with the entire process until your case is complete.
If the parties are not able to reach an agreement before filing, and later do reach an agreement during the process, they may utilize this process. This will require the Petitioner to initiate the case and the Respondent to be served.
This process may be utilized to change the terms of the legal separation through agreement.
Contested Legal Separation:
If the Respondent files a response after the Petitioner initiates the case and serves the Respondent, the case is considered a contested legal separation. We can assist with contested legal separations.
Filing fees vary depending on the county where you file your documents. You may qualify for a deferral or waiver of your filing fee with the Court.
An Acceptance of Service is included with our package price, or we can arrange for a process server to serve your documents either locally or anywhere in the United States. We may also assist you with publication, if required. We primarily prepare and serve documents in Maricopa and Pinal County Superior Courts.
YOU ARE NOT DIVORCED UNTIL YOU RECEIVE A DIVORCE DECREE FROM THE COURT. IF YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED YOUR DECREE, PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL THE DIVORCE PARALEGAL ASSISTING YOU WITH YOUR CASE.
STATUS OF YOUR CASE:
To check status of your case, you are welcome to call our offices or check status of your case online.
Check Status of Your Case with Maricopa County Superior Court
IMPORTANT – the court docket does not update immediately when documents are filed with the court.
You may also open an ECR account. This account allows you to view and print every document in your case. Important: Please enter the information that is on your driver’s license to successfully open your account. If you need assistance or have any questions, please contact the divorce paralegal assisting you with your case.
Set Up an ECR Account
If your case involves children, you are required to take a parenting class. Classes are now taken online through the Maricopa County Superior Court website at the following link:
Parenting Class Information – Maricopa County
ADDITIONAL HELPFUL LINKS:
Pre Decree Frequently Asked Questions
Post Decree Frequently Asked Questions
Post Decree Child Support
Protective Order Center