A brief guide to divorce in Utah
Couples experiencing marital problems who wish to separate in Utah need to be aware of the following things
Utah state divorce laws
To file for divorce in Utah, one or both spouses must have been a resident in the state and the county they’re filing in for at least three months. There is a 90-day waiting period from the time the complaint is filed before it can be granted, which can be waived in certain cases.
Grounds for divorce
Aside from no-fault divorces, at-fault grounds for divorce in Utah include:
• impotence dating to the time of marriage
• desertion of a year or longer
• a spouse being convicted of a felony
• physical or mental cruelty
• insanity with no hope of successful treatment
• purposefully failing to contribute enough to successfully maintain marital daily life
• alcohol abuse
Couples who wish to separate temporarily or are otherwise unsure as to whether they wish to file for divorce in Utah can file for separate maintenance. These agreements resolve the same issues as would be involved in a divorce and are legally enforceable.
Types of divorce
If both sides agree to a divorce and the terms on which it will be executed, this is known as an uncontested divorce. Divorces to which one party does not consent or in which an agreement cannot be drafted regarding child support payments, alimony or similar concerns are known as contested divorces and are heard by a judge.
No fault divorce
Couples may file for no fault divorce in Utah on the grounds of irreconcilable differences or after having lived apart for three years or more. There is no need to prove any wrongdoing for this kind of divorce to approved.
Steps in the divorce process
After a petition for divorce is filed, a defendant will be served with a copy of the complaint. If no objection is raised, both parties will agree to a plan for divorce in Utah that they will submit to family court. In addition to the 90-day waiting period, both parents must complete a divorce education class before the separation is finalized. If no agreement can be reached during the pretrial process, both parties will go to court and abide by the rulings of the judge hearing their case.
Judges may choose which factors they consider relevant to any temporary or permanent alimony which is awarded, including
• the length of the marriage
• the earning capacity of the person requesting alimony
• whether the person seeking alimony has custody of any children involved
If monthly child support payments are ordered, judges will take into account:
• the child’s needs
• both parents’ earning capabilities
• the age of the child and parents
Fathers’ and mothers’ rights
Gender may not be taken into account when awarding child custody. Judges may consider any facts they consider relevant, such as both parents’ level of involvement in raising their children. Children’s wishes will be taken into account depending on their maturity levels.