Basic Information

  Divorce can be, all by itself, a bitter and emotionally charged experience, I know, I've been there. Why make it any worse by also making it an expensive affair? If you don't expect a fight in your case, why waste hundreds of dollars on an attorney when we can get exactly the same results for way less? Or waste time by trying to figure out what forms to prepare, what information to add, etc.? That's why we are here for, with over a decade of experience under our belt, we know what forms, in what order, in which court to submit. In the next paragraphs we have added some information that we know could be useful for anyone seeking to obtain a divorce in Utah but we also know that you may already know this. Please, take what you need from the information provided and then go to the section entitled "The Process" to see exactly how the system works.

  The Utah Courts website clarifies that a divorce ends marriage and all direct legal relationships between couples, except those relationships and obligations specified in the divorce decree. These may include such things as spousal support, parenting arrangements and support of children, division of property and payment of debts. Utah divorce laws allow for no-fault divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. From the point of view of the documents filed with the Court, there are 2 basic types of divorce: With children and without children.

  After the necessary paperwork has been submitted to the court and all required appearances (if any) before the judge are completed, the Court grants a divorce. In most cases, you do not have to be physically present in the court, unless there is litigation. You may file the paperwork yourself. We can file it for you in Salt Lake County at no extra charge, or in Davis County for a fee.

Requirements

  There's a residency requirement: At least one party must have been a resident of the county where the divorce was filed for a minimum of three months immediately before filing the divorce petition. If there are children, generally the children must have resided in the state for a minimum of six months. To simplify divorce and custody proceedings, parents should wait until the children have lived within the state for six months before filing for divorce.

How long does it take

  A decree of divorce can be granted after a 90 days waiting period if the parties have reached an agreement and, in the case of minor children, once they have both attended the Divorce Education Class. If the parties think that there is no need to wait, they could request a waiver from the 90-day waiting period required by Utah law.

  If the parties do not reach an agreement, then there will be hearings and, potentially, a trial before the assigned judge. The divorce may not become final for a matter of months, or even a year. Before proceeding to pretrial or trial, the parties to a divorce must either engage in mediation or arbitration, or view a videotape discussing participation in "Alternate Dispute Resolution" programs designed to provide alternatives to court proceedings and litigation.

Alimony

  Either party may request and be granted alimony. Regardless of gender, alimony may be ordered on a temporary basis or pending trial, as well as for a longer period after entry of the divorce decree. In determining alimony, the courts consider at least the following factors:

Debt division

  Usually, the parties agree about who should pay each of their joint debts. If they cannot agree, then the court must decide. However, the parties' agreement or the court's decrees are binding only between the parties. Utah law allows notice to be given to creditors about which party is responsible for debt. However, creditors are not required to honor the division of joint debts in the divorce decree or agreement. Thus, if the spouse who's supposed to pay fails to do so, the creditors may seek payment from the other spouse.

Property Division

  Utah law recognizes that both spouses contribute to the property acquired during marriage, regardless of the income source. Utah requires an "equitable," though not necessarily equal, division of such property, depending upon how long the marriage lasted, the age and health of the parties, their occupations, the amount and sources of income and related matters. The courts have the power to divide all property owned by either or both of the spouses, regardless of whose name its in or where its located, and there are special rules for dividing property owned by the spouses before marriage or received by gift or inheritance. Usually, these properties are considered separate. If the parties divide their property by agreement, the judge must review the decision to be sure that it is fair; however, the property division cannot be reopened after it is final, except under a few limited circumstances.

Annulment

  In very unusual circumstances you can get your marriage annulled. An annulment is a way to have the court say that a marriage never existed. This is different from a divorce, which ends a legal marriage. You should talk to an attorney to discuss whether an annulment or divorce is right for your situation. Utah’s law specify statutory and common law reasons for a person to get an annulment:

Legal Separation

  Also known as Separate Maintenance, the parties live separately, but remain legally married to one another. The couple's rights and duties to each other are set forth in a Decree of Legal Separation, which covers matters such as custody and child support, spousal support, division of property and payment of debts. The legal procedures are similar to those for divorce, except that there are grounds for legal separation only when one spouse is deserted by the other, or when a person refuses or neglects to provide for his or her spouse. If the couple later decides to divorce after they have been legally separated, they must file a separate action for divorce.

Divorce Orientation and Parents Education

  After filing a petition for a divorce and receiving a docket (case) number, parties who have children must attend a course on their children's needs. This divorce education course is a prerequisite to receiving a divorce decree, unless a court determines that attending the course is not feasible, or is not in the best interests of the parties. The course instructs both parties about divorce and its impact on children, their family relationship, and their financial responsibilities for their children. More information and the schedules for these classes can be found at the Utah Court website, or by clicking here. Both classes are required ONLY for all parents with biological children under the age of 18 who file for divorce in the state of Utah. (U.C.A. § 30-3-11.3)

The Process

  As stated in the Home page, we gather the information needed to prepare your documents by asking you to fill out the appropriate workbook, accurately and completely. To access the workbook used for Divorce with no Children or Annulment, please click here. The workbook for Divorce with Children can be found here. Once the forms are completed simply send them back to us by email, regular mail or in person, we will then prepare the final documents and contact you to arrange for final delivery. Currently the cost for filing a divorce in Utah is $318, payable at the time of filing. Please make sure to add any required supporting information such as paystubs, taxes, etc. if needed. Same thing if you have any other extra requirement, such as adding a waiver or restoring your maiden name (additional fees apply, please see Price List for details).

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