Arizona Separation or Marital Settlement Agreements; Effect and Purpose

In effort to promote amicable settlement of disputes between parties to a marriage on condition of their separation or the dissolution of their marriage, the parties may enter into a written separation agreement which contains provisions for disposition of any property owned by either of them, maintenance of either of them, and support, custody and parenting time of their children.

In an action filed with the Court for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation, the terms of the separation agreement, except those providing for support, custody and parenting time of children shall remain binding on the Court unless it finds, after considering the economic circumstances of the parties and any other relevant evidence produced by the parties, on their own motion or on request of the court, that the separation agreement is unfair.

Should the Court determine that a separation agreement is unfair as to disposition of property or maintenance, it may request the parties to submit a revised separation agreement or may make orders for the disposition of property of maintenance which has been deemed unfair.

In the event the Court finds that the separation agreement is not unfair as to the disposition of property or maintenance and that it is reasonable as to support, custody and parenting time of children, the separation agreement shall be set forth or incorporated by reference in the decree of dissolution or legal separation and the parties so ordered to abide by those terms as an Order of the Court.

There are various other areas and issues of consideration when drafting separation agreement that should be considered. For this reason it is strongly suggested that one use the assistance of an experienced Arizona family law attorney when drafting such agreements for filing with the Court.

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