Arizona encourages amicable settlement of marital disputes. A.R.S. 25-317A authorizes separation agreements by spouses anticipating separation or divorce (which in Arizona is called dissolution of marriage). The written agreement may make provision for child custody,
visitation (i.e. parenting time),
spousal maintenance (i.e. alimony), and
property division. The agreement as to maintenance and property division are binding upon the Court, unless the Court finds the agreement to be unfair or inequitable; the Court has a statutory duty to impose a property division that is fair and equitable.
In most such agreements there are actually two agreements. First, there is the separation agreement, which deals with child custody and support, as well as alimony. Second, there is is the property settlement, which address the division of marital assets and liabilities.
Separation agreements can be drafted even if the parties only intend to separate, not divorce. If the parties intend to divorce, the separation agreement may be made either before or after the action is filed. As long as the agreement does not tend to induce divorce or separation, it is enforceable even if no divorce is contemplated. But the Court will refuse to enforce any agreement if there was fraud or undue influence.
It is a good idea to record either the agreement and/or the divorce decree incorporating its terms be recorded in each county in which real property affected by the agreement is located. Notarization allows the agreement to be recorded, and permits it to be admitte4d into evidence.
If you are facing these issues in Maricopa County, you need a hard fighting, straight talking Phoenix divorce lawyer on your side. So
contact us today for a free consultation.