How much does a divorce cost in Utah?
In Utah, it is not possible for a couple to jointly file a request for divorce. However, there are many steps that can be taken to otherwise reduce the expense of this legal procedure. Couples who are able to agree on the terms of their separation before entering into a mutually agreed action will be able to prepare a much lower estimate when determining how much does a divorce cost in Utah.
The one generally unavoidable expense in filing for divorce is the fee charged by the applicable district family court for processing the paperwork. This fee can vary between $100-400 depending on what county you are filing in. However, if you are unable to pay, you may be able to obtain a waiver stating you do not have the financial resources necessary to do so. For couples who are cooperating, this may be the only cost to budget for when estimating how much does a divorce cost in Utah.
After one person files the petition, their spouse will be officially served with a copy of the complaint. If this function is performed by a sheriff’s office or a process server, there will be an additional fee. This will also be the case if the spouse files an official response disagreeing with any part of the divorce statement.
If the spouse being served does not dispute the divorce, couples may begin negotiating the terms of their separation if they have not already done so. This requires drafting a comprehensive written agreement covering such areas of dispute as:
• Alimony payments
• Child support payments
• Shared health insurance
• Division of shared property
• Visitation rights
• Child custody arrangements
Assuming both parties can reach an agreement regarding all these issues, an attorney is not necessary to create a legally acceptable document. Many blank templates are available online that couples can fill out. Including estimates of any monthly payments from one spouse to another will be important in creating an accurate budget for how much does a divorce cost in Utah.
Despite negotiating in good faith, some couples may require outside guidance to come to an agreement. Informal pretrial hearings will encourage both sides to take advantage of free legal guidance to resolve their differences. Some couples may also choose to hire an attorney specializing in divorce mediation, who can help draft a mutually acceptable document.
Should no agreement be reached at any point in the pretrial process, the case will proceed as a contested divorce. At this time, one or both spouses may decide to hire a lawyer to represent them. This can represent a considerable expense, as many divorce lawyers charge large amount by the hour for their services. Should you decide you need an attorney’s help; figure out how much you can afford to pay and obtain a detailed, written estimation of the expenses you will be liable for.
While a written plan may be approved by a judge, you may be required to rewrite part or all of the agreement. A judge is the final person to decide how much does a divorce cost in Utah.