Divorces in Utah can be either uncontested or contested. Uncontested divorces occur when both spouses agree on all matters, leading to quicker and more affordable resolutions. The required documents for an uncontested divorce include, among other things, a verified petition for divorce, an affidavit of jurisdiction and grounds for divorce, a vital statistics form, and a stipulation or consent for entry of the divorce signed by the other party. Additionally, various other forms will or may be required, particularly where child support is involved. If there are minor children involved, each party will need to take two classes about divorce.

For contested divorces, one spouse must file a petition for divorce, affidavit of jurisdiction and grounds, and vital statistics form and then have the petition with a summons formally served on the other party. The non-filing spouse must respond with an answer if he or she wants to dispute the terms of the divorce as stated in the petition. Mediation is mandatory when disputes arise, helping to avoid costly court battles.

Divorce in Utah

It’s essential to note that judges in Utah are required to not sign a divorce decree until at least 30 days after filing the petition, but there can be exceptions in certain cases. Interim orders may be issued during this waiting period and during the pendency of the case. Seeking legal advice and utilizing available resources can ensure a smoother divorce process.

No-Fault Divorce Utah

Divorce Options in Utah: Utah offers two divorce options: Fault Divorce and No-Fault Divorce. 

    • Fault Divorce: Requires proving wrongdoing by the partner, such as substance abuse, domestic violence, infidelity, or abandonment. While some people prefer to seek a divorce based on grounds of fault, Utah judges prefer to grant divorces based on no fault. However, in alimony cases, fault can play a factor.

    • No-Fault Divorce: Allows couples to end their marriage without proving fault. The primary ground is irreconcilable differences.

    • Advantages: No public blame or airing of private matters. Faster process, lower legal fees, and smoother resolution if both parties agree.

In conclusion, carefully consider the grounds for divorce and seek legal counsel for the best outcome.

Understanding Marriage Dissolution Options in Utah

When contemplating the end of a marriage, it is essential to be well-informed about the available options in Utah, which include annulment, divorce, and legal separation.

Annulment is a formal declaration that renders the marriage null and void, asserting that it never legally existed. However, obtaining an annulment is a more complex process than divorce, requiring substantial evidence to prove the marriage’s invalidity under Utah law.

Divorce, on the other hand, leads to the termination of the marriage and requires less proof.

In both annulment and divorce, the Court can address various crucial matters such as child custody, visitation rights, child support, property division, alimony, and pension-related issues.

Legal separation, also known as “separate maintenance,” in Utah, allows spouses to live independently while remaining legally married. This option involves obtaining a court order that outlines responsibilities and rights concerning child support, alimony, custody, and property division. The court order remains valid for one year from the hearing date.

It is crucial to recognize that legal separation preserves marital status, while divorce legally dissolves the marriage entirely. Each option has its considerations, and selecting the most appropriate approach depends on the specific circumstances involved.

Petition for Divorce in Utah

Commencing the divorce process in Utah entails the initial step of filing a petition with the district court. This crucial document conveys your position on critical matters, such as custody, parent time, alimony, child support, and asset division, both to the court and your spouse. Ensuring proper service of this document to your spouse is of utmost importance.

If you’ve been considering divorce for some time, concerns regarding its complexity and expenses may have influenced your decision-making.

How to File for Divorce in Utah

In Utah, divorces fall into two categories: uncontested and contested. An uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses agree on all aspects, leading to a smoother and more cost-effective process. The court reviews and approves a marital settlement agreement (stipulation) before granting the divorce decree.

To initiate an uncontested divorce, the following documents and others, depending on your case, will need to be filed:

    • Verified Petition for Divorce

    • Vital Statistics Sheet

    • Affidavit or Declaration of Jurisdiction and Grounds for Divorce

    • Stipulation or Consent Signed by Other Party Agreeing to Terms

On the other hand, a contested divorce begins with one spouse filing a petition with the court, followed by the other spouse responding with an answer. If any issues remain contested, the divorce is contested and Utah law mandates mediation to find a resolution. A neutral mediator facilitates negotiations, promoting an amicable resolution.

Understanding these options will empower you to navigate the divorce process in Utah with clarity and informed decision-making.

How Much Does a Divorce Cost in Utah?

The cost of a divorce varies. Most attorneys and other legal professionals bill hourly. The amount of time it takes depends on various factors such as whether the divorce is contested, the length and complexity of the divorce proceeding, the number of hearings and motion, and others. However, with something as important as a legal divorce, you want someone on your side. This is where Christensen Law comes in to help you get the outcome you need.

How Long Does a Divorce Take in Utah?

In Utah, the duration of an uncontested divorce typically spans approximately 3 months, while a contested divorce may take 9-12 months or longer, particularly when dealing with complex marital assets. It is essential to be aware that even in the most expedited scenarios, there is a 30-day waiting period required by Utah law as well as the natural amount of time it takes for papers to be processed.

Who Gets the House in A Divorce in Utah?

Utah operates under the principles of equitable distribution, which is a common law approach to property division in divorce cases. Generally, marital assets will be split equally, with each party receiving assets of equal value. Separate assets will be awarded to the party to whom they belong. There are exceptions that may apply to your case.

In the case of a house, the value will need to be divided equally. This may involve one spouse receiving the house and the other spouse receiving other valuable assets. Alternatively, the spouse receiving the house may need to refinance and buy out the other spouse for an amount that leaves each spouse with equal value from the marital estate. Sometimes, the house will have to be sold and the proceeds or debt thereon divided equally.

Overall, the goal of equitable distribution in Utah is to ensure a fair and just outcome, considering the unique circumstances of each divorce case. It is essential for individuals going through a divorce to seek professional legal counsel to navigate the complexities of property division and ensure their rights and interests are protected throughout the process.

Who Can I Talk to For Help with A Divorce in Utah?

You can talk to the attorneys at Christensen Law who specialize in family law and everything that comes with it, including alimony, adoption, annulments, child custody, child support, complex property division, divorce, grandparent visitation, mediation, paternity, property division, supervised visitation, termination of parental rights and more.

+ posts
+ posts

Utah attorney Clinton R. Brimhall has helped clients wade through and evade legal difficulties since 2014. He works for and with his clients to achieve the best possible outcome. He cheerfully discusses available options and responds to questions or concerns. With a pragmatic eye, he is as likely to advise bringing the matter before the court as he is to advise an alternate solution or even the cutting of losses. He recognizes that some outcomes are worth fighting for and that other outcomes are worth less than peace of mind and avoiding the emotional turmoil that can come with litigation. Humor and an understanding ear are available when appropriate.

Clinton has experience helping clients plan, file, build, and litigate their cases. In situations where the trial court ruled against the client, he has helped client with appeal options, even when Christensen Law was not brought in until after trial. Where the other side claimed the trial court erred, Clinton has successfully defended against the appeal. Clinton has also helped clients settle their cases and avoid trial entirely. He routinely advises clients that such settlements can be better than a trial ruling. On the other hand, he is not afraid to point out where a proposed settlement is bad or could lead to future problems.

Clinton has experience with and can assist with a variety of legal matters. In the realm of family law, he helps with divorces, annulments, child custody, child support, custody modification, child support modification, stepparent adoption, protective orders, and other similar or related matters. For juvenile matters, Clinton can assist with child protective orders, custody, child support, parental rights, and DCFS appeals, among others. In the more general civil arena, Clinton has experience with stalking injunctions, contract disputes, property disputes, wrongful liens, nuisance, and other civil matters. In probate, Clinton can assist with guardianships, conservatorships, basic estate planning, and other similar concerns.

As for qualifications and background, Clinton graduated magna cum laude from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU. While at BYU, Clinton served as an executive editor on the law review and took classes geared toward teaching attorneys how to help domestic violence victims. In his spare time, Clinton enjoys cooking experiments and writing.

Clinton is licensed to practice law in all state and federal Utah courts. Additionally, Clinton is admitted to the bars of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States.