Can an Arizona Divorce Be Undone?
A divorce is a final sentence that marks the end of a marriage. This is why you have to take the decision seriously. States like Arizona have additional measures aimed at reducing the risk of regrets. There’s a 60-day waiting period, giving couples a chance to cool off and think about it before going through with the dissolution of a marriage. What would happen, however, if you go through the divorce only to realize that you’ve made a mistake? Can an Arizona divorce be undone and if so – what is the procedure?
Legal Separation Reversal
A legal separation isn’t the same thing as a divorce. If you are not 100 percent confident about getting a divorce, your lawyer will suggest getting a legal separation first. The legal separation means living separately from your spouse. Property and debts will also be separated. Unlike a divorce, however, a legal separation is much easier to undo.
A reversal of the legal separation can be pursued as long as both partners agree to it. The procedure that will be triggered next is a relatively simple one. The document needed to get started is a Draft Motion to Vacate Order of Legal Separation. Both partners sign the document and file it to express their desire to end the separation.
The respective Arizona family court will process the documents that the two partners have submitted. If the desire to undo the legal separation is mutual, the legal procedure is going to be completed pretty fast.
Challenging a Divorce in Arizona
Undoing a divorce decree, even if you’re not happy with it, is not going to be an easy task.
There are limited circumstances under which the divorce decree can either be modified or the Arizona divorce be undone altogether.
The most common procedure is appealing the divorce decree. A person will have to turn to the Arizona Court of Appeals to reverse either one or more points in the decree that are unfavorable or that the individual disagrees with.
There’s a 30-day period (after the finalization of the divorce) for appeal filing. In most cases, divorce appeals will fail in Arizona. One of the very few reasons that will result in a positive outcome is a legal mistake committed during the dissolution of the marriage.
If you have a serious disagreement with the court ruling on the marriage dissolution, you may want to file a motion for new trial or amended judgment. Such a legal procedure can be triggered whenever:
- There has been abuse of discretion
- An irregularity in the legal procedures has been established
- There has been misconduct of a party involved in the legal process
- An error in court proceedings has been committed
- The court decision on the divorce is not justified
As far as entirely undoing the divorce goes, getting a complete reversal is nearly impossible. This is why most Arizona family law attorneys will suggest getting the case reopened and attempting to modify the features of the divorce that are considered to be most disagreeable.
Whether the divorce was contested or uncontested, the court order is final and forcible. It cannot be reversed just because you have had a change of heart.
A final option that a person may rely on to undo a divorce decree is a motion for relief from judgment or order. Such a legal procedure can be triggered in the case of a mistake, because of newly discovered information, fraud, misrepresentation or a void judgment. It comes with a longer deadline of six months. If all other options have already been exhausted, an Arizona family lawyer may attempt to challenge the divorce decree this way.