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Utah Divorce Laws

When a couple gets married, it’s generally a happy time in their lives and they don’t think about divorce. Despite this hope, sometimes divorce is necessary for the health and sanity of both parties. The old axiom of about 50% of marriages ending in divorce has been found to be inaccurate, but a good number of marriages still don’t last forever.

If you have children, child custody and child support are important parts of the case that will keep you and your former spouse in family court until the children are adult that aren’t eligible for child support, which in Utah can be ordered until they’re 21 years old. No matter what your individual circumstances are, a couple seeking a divorce must comply with the following divorce laws before they are able to divorce in Utah.

Code Sections Utah Code Title 30, Chapter 3: Divorce
Residency Requirements One party must be a bona fide resident of Utah for at least three months before commencing action. Members of the military who have been stationed in Utah for at least three months can also file for divorce there.
Waiting Period A divorce matter won’t be heard by the family court until at least 90 days from filing the complaint asking for a divorce. In extraordinary circumstances, this waiting period can be waived.

A divorce decree becomes absolute on the day its signed by court and entered by the clerk, however, not that the judge can extend the date in which it becomes absolute for up to six months for good cause either by application of either party or at his or her own decision.
“No Fault” Grounds for Divorce Utah has two no fault grounds for divorce, first irreconcilable differences which is a loose cover-all for just no longer getting along and wanting to break up.

The second no fault grounds is being legally separated and not cohabitating for at least three years.
Fault Based Grounds for Divorce Utah still maintains fault based grounds for divorce, these can affect the amount that’s distributed to each spouse under the state marital property laws. These fault-based grounds are:
  • Adultery committed by the respondent (person who is served with divorce papers) while married to petitioner (person who brings the divorce action)
  • Cruelty or domestic violence to extent that bodily injury or great mental distress is caused of the petitioner
  • Desertion of the petitioner for at least 1 year
  • Alcohol addiction of respondent
  • Impotency of respondent at the time of marriage
  • Nonsupport or willful neglect to provide the petitioner with necessaries of life
  • Incurable insanity
  • Conviction of a felony by respondent
Temporary Separation Order A person can ask the court for a temporary separation order that is valid for one year or until the divorce is filed or the case is dismissed.

Note: State laws are updated constantly. It’s a good idea to verify these divorce laws by contacting a knowledgeable family law attorney or conducting your own legal research.

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If you’re ready to get a divorce, it’s important to speak with an experienced Utah divorce lawyer to understand your rights and the financial implications of getting divorced. It’s possible file for a divorce on your own, but that may cost you more in your property or assets than you’d like to give up. Get a free initial case review today.

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