What You Need to Know Before Filing for Divorce in Utah

Estranged couple consulting a divorce lawyer

Divorce essentially accomplishes two main things: one, ending a marriage, and two, dividing debts and assets. If a couple has been married for a long time and one spouse is financially dependent on the other, there’s also the issue of spousal support or alimony to consider. Also, child custody and support issues might likewise need to be resolved if the couple has minor children.

How to File for Divorce in Utah

Attorneys at Kelly & Bramwell, P.C. note that the spouse seeking a divorce should first and foremost be a Utah resident for three months minimum. He or she must file for divorce in the District Court at the specific county wherein the requirement for residency is met. Generally speaking, you could consider doing a DIY divorce if you’re filing for uncontested divorce. This means that you and your spouse have reached an agreement regarding divorce issues including division of assets and debts, child support and custody (if applicable), and spousal support.

To start the divorce process, you have to file a Complaint for Divorce and other supporting documents. One of these relevant documents is a parenting plan and a marital settlement agreement. You must file all these documents with the court, and the court will send copies of these to your spouse. The court would then call a hearing where a judge would look over the paperwork, make sure they’re in order, maybe ask you and your spouse some questions, and then enter the Final Divorce Decree if the judge is satisfied with everything.

If you and your spouse want an uncontested divorce, but have yet to resolve your issues, you could consider a collaborative divorce. Both of you would need an attorney to represent and help you reach a fair agreement on relevant issues. If you managed to agree on all your divorce issues, these would be sent to the court, reviewed by a judge, and incorporated into your divorce decree.

What If You Can’t Resolve Your Divorce Issues?

A DIY divorce, uncontested divorce, and collaborative divorce would only work if both spouses unanimously agree to all their issues—property division, debt division, child support and custody, and alimony. Otherwise, your divorce becomes complex and contested. This means that you would both require legal representation and go through litigation to sort out your divorce issues.