If you are like most people, the decision to get a divorce was a long and hard choice. You have likely been under considerable stress, and just want to move forward as quickly as possible. Fortunately, Utah makes getting a divorce straightforward and relatively simple, especially if you and your spouse are in agreement on related issues. To seek an uncontested divorce in Utah, you simply need to fill out the appropriate paperwork and submit your forms to the county clerk. Online divorce paper preparation services like CompleteCase.com make the process even easier and less costly.
If you are in a situation where you and your spouse do not agree on issues – such as child custody, child support and spousal support - you may have a more complicated divorce ahead of you. Utah requires that you and your spouse come to an agreement on all matters such as these before it will grant a divorce. If you cannot come to an agreement, the court will be forced to outline the terms of your divorce as best it can. Leaving the court to decide often results in terms that neither party is happy with.
One of the least expensive ways to resolve differences is through mediation. Divorce mediation in Utah requires meeting with your spouse and a professional mediator and working through the sticking points in your divorce. Ideally, the mediator can help you and your spouse come to a workable agreement on the important issues, allowing you to present the court with terms that are equitable and fair.
If you cannot work through things with a mediator, you will need to present your side to the judge and hope he or she decides in your favor. At this point it is advisable to seek the help of a divorce attorney, as your spouse will probably be doing the same. The more disagreements that need to be worked through with attorneys, the higher the financial cost of the divorce.
We compiled the following information about divorce in Utah to help you learn about, and move forward with your own divorce.
In 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the divorce rate in Utah is 3.7 for every 1,000 residents. This rate is on the lower end of divorce rates in the United States. Utah is a state that allows both fault-based and no-fault divorces. In a fault-based divorce, you must prove grounds for the divorce, such as adultery, willful neglect and habitual drunkenness. In a no-fault divorce, you only have to list “irreconcilable differences”; the marriage is no longer salvageable.
No-fault divorce is usually the more popular option, as it is cheaper and easier to pursue. It also helps avoid any embarrassing information from being aired in front of the court. However, some people choose fault-based divorce instead. Proving problems like adultery can be influential when trying to seek child custody, child support and spousal support.
Utah's residency requirements for divorce are three months. Either you or your spouse must live in a single county in the state for that period of time before you can file for divorce.
The divorce papers and forms required in Utah may vary based on the county you file in and your specific circumstances. However, there are some standard forms including the “Verified Complaint for Divorce” and the “Summons”. There are several resources provided by the state of Utah online for those who are interested in divorce. The Divorce section of the Utah Courts website is a good place to start if you want to learn more about divorce in Utah and how state requirements apply to your circumstances. Utah also provides an Online Court Assistance Program (OCAP) that can help you find specific forms and complete those forms to submit to the county clerk.
Many people in Utah find the process of locating divorce forms confusing, and sometimes overwhelming. There are numerous forms, depending on your circumstances, and failure to submit the right forms or filling out forms incorrectly can lead to delays in your divorce. At CompleteCase.com you’ll get the assistance needed to find the required divorce papers for Utah and to complete the forms accurately.
When you have completed all of the divorce papers for your Utah divorce, you will need to file them with your local county clerk. You will either submit your paperwork to the county court where you reside or where your spouse resides. Make at least two copies of your documents, one to keep for your records and one to serve to your spouse.
Utah allows you to mail in your divorce papers. If you choose this option, make sure to use registered mail so you get a receipt that verifies the documents were received. You can also deliver your paperwork in person to the court. Before you leave to file the papers check online for the current fee schedule, or contact the county clerk to verify. You will need to pay the state fee when you file, using a payment method that is accepted by the court.
Utah requires that you serve copies of the divorce documents to your spouse within 120 days of filing. Although the 120-day window may seem like a lot of time, you should begin the serving process as soon as you file. It may take time to locate your spouse, and any delay in your serving the papers will prolong the time it takes to complete the divorce.
You have several options for serving your spouse, including hiring a sheriff's deputy, hiring a private process server and serving the documents yourself. Hiring a third party will require paying a fee, but may be necessary if you and your spouse are not on good terms. However you serve the divorce papers, you will need to submit verification of service to the court to complete the filing process.