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The "Covenant Marriage Law" went into effect as of August 1998.

This law basically states that if the parties write out an affidavit when they apply for the marriage license stating that the marriage is a "covenant" marriage, in order to get a divorce or legal separation, you will have to give a reason (or show grounds).  If the parties agree to the divorce/legal separation, the time is the same.  If the parties don't agree to the divorce/legal separation,  it could take 2-3 years to complete a covenant marriage divorce/legal separation.

Because of this and other factors, this office chooses not to provide Covenant Marriage Divorces or Legal Separations as a service unless both parties agree to a Divorce.


A.R.S. 25-901-Covenant marriage; declaration of intent; filing requirements

A.R.S. 25-902 - Existing marriages; conversion to covenant marriage; recording requirements

A.R.S. 25-903 - Dissolution of a covenant marriage; grounds

A.R.S. 25-904 - Decree of legal separation; grounds


"Alimony" or "Spousal Maintenance" as it is called here in Arizona are essentially the same.  Although the Maricopa County Superior Court adopted a set of "Spousal Maintenance Guidelines", they are simply guidelines used to determine reasonable spousal maintenance and are not mandatory. 

Arizona Revised Statute Section 25-319 sets forth the factors regarding whether a person is entitled to spousal maintenance, and if so, how long and how much. The statute does not provide a specific formula, but rather a list of general factors. Such factors include, but are not limited to the following.

Whether a Party Is Entitled To Spousal Maintenance Depends Upon:

1.    Whether a party can meet their reasonable needs through appropriate employment.

2.    Whether a party has other property to help them meet their reasonable needs.

3.    Whether a party is disabled and unable to work.

4.    Whether a party has young children and should be allowed to stay home or work part time.

5.    Whether one of the parties contributed to the educational opportunities of the other spouse.

6.    Whether the parties had a marriage of long duration (usually 10 years or more), and whether the
        requesting party is of an age which may preclude the possibility of obtaining adequate

How Much Spousal Maintenance And How Long Depends Upon:

1.    The standard of living during marriage.

2.    How long the parties were married.

3.    The age, employment history, earning ability, physical and emotional condition of the parties.

4.    Whether the other party can pay spousal maintenance and still meet his or her own reasonable 

5.    Whether one of the parties makes more money or has more property than the other party.

6.    Whether one of the parties contributed toward the other spouse’s career opportunities.

7.    Whether one of the parties sacrificed his or her own income or career opportunities for the
        benefit of the other spouse.

8.    The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to obtain appropriate
        employment, and whether this is possible.

9.    Whether one of the parties wasted or hid community assets or property.

STATUE:  A.R.S. 25-319-Maintenance; computation facto