The Maricopa County Supreme Court includes jurisdiction over many types of cases. For instance, any issues that relate to probate, including wills and estates, are heard at the Maricopa County Supreme Court. In addition, cases which include divorce are heard at the same level.
Within the Maricopa County Supreme Court is a family division of the court system. The Family Court Division handles issues such as divorce and child custody, although child custody and child support payments are handled as an issue separate from divorce.
Couples that are going through a divorce must follow the process as determined by the Maricopa County Supreme Court. Couples may be asked to first attempt to settle the divorce outside of court. The Court may appoint a mediator whose job it is to help the couple make important decisions jointly, such as the amount of spousal support payments.
Although this process can be time consuming, it is often beneficial for a couple to at least attempt to settle the divorce in mediation. If the couple comes to a divorce agreement jointly, the judge simply needs to approve the agreement.
Couples that are unable to handle the divorce in this way have to take the divorce to court, which can be very time consuming and expensive. The judge will make each and every determination for the divorce agreement, including spousal support payments. If the couple had a prenuptial agreement in place, the judge may go according to the clauses laid out in the agreement, but the judge may also change those clauses at will.