According to Divorce Magazine, the median age for a first divorce is 30, and the median age for a second divorce is 38. So, if you are thinking about getting divorced in your 30s, you are not alone.
If you are thinking about getting divorced in your 30s? Know these 10 important facts before getting divorced in your 30s in Arizona! Of course, if you are getting divorced in your 30s, the odds are that you still have most of your life ahead of you. This is important to keep in mind as you begin to navigate the process. You need to make decisions with your long-term goals and needs in mind, and you need to avoid making mistakes that could compromise your financial stability in the years to come. With this in mind, here are 10 important facts about getting divorced in your 30s in Arizona:
Important Fact #1: Your “Marital” Assets are Subject to Equitable Distribution
Under Arizona law, divorcing spouses must divide their “marital property” according to the principles of equitable distribution. In general, any assets acquired during the marriage are considered marital property, although there are some exceptions.
While equitable does not necessarily mean equal, most divorces will result in a 50-50 split. Recognizing that you will not be able to keep everything, it is important to prioritize, and you will need to think carefully about which assets you are willing to give up in exchange for others.
Important Fact #2: Any “Separate” Assets are Not On the Table in Your Divorce
If you still own anything that you owned prior to your marriage, these assets most likely count as your “separate property.” Separate assets are not subject to equitable distribution in a divorce. As a result, you will want to carefully identify your separate property, and you will want to try to make a list of assets that qualify as your spouse’s separate property as well.
Important Fact #3: If You Have Kids, They Will Play a Central Role in the Divorce Process
If you have kids, you will need to address child custody and child support during your divorce. Your kids (and your custody rights and support obligations) may also influence your decisions regarding equitable distribution. Arizona law requires all custody determinations to be made based on the best interests of the children involved, and divorcing parents must calculate child support according to the Arizona Child Support Guidelines.
Important Fact #4: But, You Should Avoid Involving Your Kids in the Divorce Process Directly
While your kids (if any) will play a central role in the divorce process, you should avoid involving them in the divorce process directly. You should not use your children to relay messages to your spouse, and you should not pressure your children to take sides. While a child’s wishes can be relevant to the “best interests” analysis in some circumstances, seeking a child’s input regarding post-divorce custody is a sensitive matter that requires a carefully planned approach.
Important Fact #5: Arizona Law Calls for Alimony Payments in Five Specific Circumstances
In Arizona, a divorce may result in an alimony award under five specific circumstances. While these circumstances are generally less likely to be relevant when getting divorced in your 30s, an alimony award will still be appropriate in some cases. If you will need to seek alimony, or if you believe your spouse may try to seek alimony, this is something you should discuss with your divorce lawyer early in the process.
Important Fact #6: Digital Assets Matter, Too
If you own digital assets, you will need to address these assets during your divorce. This starts with determining whether they qualify as marital or separate property. While some digital assets may need to be divided (such as music libraries, cryptocurrency wallets, and NFTs), it may be possible for others (such as photo albums) to be duplicated.
Important Fact #7: Even If You Both Want to Get Divorced, You Need Separate Legal Representation
Oftentimes, spouses in their 30s will be in agreement that it is time to bring their marriage to an end. But, even if you and your spouse are both ready to get divorced (and are willing to work together to get it done), you will still each need your own divorce lawyer.
Important Fact #8: Getting Divorced Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated, Contentious, or Expensive
While you will each need your own divorce lawyer, the process doesn’t have to be complicated, contentious, or expensive. In fact, most couples in their 30s are able to resolve their divorces without going to court. Working with your respective lawyers, you can schedule negotiation sessions to work through the issues; and, if necessary, you can pursue mediation or a collaborative law divorce.
Important Fact #9: You (and Your Spouse) Will Play a Key Role in the Outcome of Your Divorce
Generally speaking, the more effort you put into the divorce process, the more you will get out of it. If you prioritize, think critically about your long-term goals and needs, and commit to protecting yourself while also negotiating in good faith, you can achieve a desirable outcome. Conversely, if you try to take a hands-off approach, or if you refuse to reasonably consider your spouse’s point of view, you will likely find that the process is both more difficult and less rewarding than it should be.
Important Fact #10: Planning Ahead Makes the Process Go Much More Smoothly
When preparing to go through a divorce, planning ahead can make the process go much more smoothly. In addition to prioritizing as we discussed above, this means gathering relevant records, weighing your options, setting reasonable expectations, and knowing what mistakes to avoid. To learn more, we encourage you to read:
- How to Set Reasonable Expectations for Your Arizona Divorce
- 10 Tips for Making Informed Decisions During Your Divorce in Arizona
- Considering a Divorce in Arizona? Don’t Overlook These 10 Important Issues
Request a Free Consultation with a Phoenix Divorce Lawyer
If you are in your 30s and contemplating a divorce in Arizona, we can guide you every step of the way. To schedule a free initial consultation with a Phoenix divorce lawyer at Weingart Family Law, please call 480-542-0099 or request an appointment online today.