Salt Lake City Divorce Lawyers
Divorce is a unique legal challenge. It involves a court case, but unlike most lawsuits, it is deeply personal, affecting your family relationships, your finances, your home. The prospect of all these changes is stressful enough—and then consider that the person you have always turned to for support, your spouse, is now the person opposing you.
For these reasons, divorce is one of the most difficult situations you will ever face. At BartonWood, we understand that we can’t make divorce easy. But we can give you the resources you need to navigate the process, and stand up for you every step of the way.
Divorce can feel like it’s turning your world upside down. Whether you are filing for divorce, or your spouse has filed, you have questions. Knowing what to expect can help you get back on your feet, and ready to move forward.
Requirements to File for a Utah Divorce
A court needs to have jurisdiction (power to make a decision) in order to hear and make a judgment in a case. There are some simple requirements for a Utah court to have jurisdiction over your divorce:
- Either spouse can file for divorce in a Utah county in which one of the spouses has lived for at least three months.
- If there is a minor child of the marriage, the child must have lived with one of the parents in Utah for at least six months prior to a parent filing for divorce (with very limited exceptions).
Utah courts also require parents to attend educational programs about divorce and the effect of divorce on children.
Fault-Based and No-Fault Divorce in Utah
Some states require one spouse to show fault on the other spouse’s part in order to be granted a divorce. Other states allow for no-fault divorce. Utah offers both options.
You have grounds for a fault-based divorce if:
- Your spouse was impotent at the time of your marriage;
- Your spouse committed adultery after your marriage;
- Your spouse deserted you for more than a year;
- Your spouse intentionally neglects to provide for your basic support;
- Your spouse is a chronic abuser of alcohol or other drugs;
- Your spouse was convicted of a felony;
- Your spouse is physically or emotionally abusive;
- Your spouse suffers from incurable insanity.
Grounds for a no-fault divorce are:
- You and your spouse have a decree of separate maintenance and have lived apart for three years; or
- Irreconcilable differences of the marriage.
You may be eligible to file for divorce on both a fault basis and no-fault basis. Which you choose depends on your needs. However, most cases are no-fault divorces. Fault-based divorces typically take longer, involve more time in court, and cost more in legal fees than a no-fault divorce. However, successfully proving fault may allow you to receive alimony. If your spouse poses a risk to the children, proving fault may allow you to limit his or her access to them.
Contested and Uncontested Utah Divorce
The question of “fault or no-fault” deals with what led to your divorce. The question of “contested or uncontested divorce” addresses how you plan to move ahead with the divorce process.
In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse have reached agreement on the terms of your divorce, including:
With an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse file a Joint Stipulation and your settlement agreement with the court. The court may ask for additional documents if it needs more information to confirm that your agreement is fair. The court may sign your divorce decree, which makes your divorce final, in as little as 30 days after you file the Joint Stipulation.
In a contested divorce, you and your spouse have not been able to reach agreement on all of the important issues in your divorce. A contested divorce takes longer and is more complex than an uncontested divorce, but it may be necessary to file for a contested divorce in order to protect your rights or your children.
Experienced Utah Family Law and Divorce Attorneys
At BartonWood, Utah family law is all we do. We make your priorities our priorities, and we advocate for your interests. Your marriage and family are unlike any other; your divorce should be designed for your unique needs, too.
Divorce is hard, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Contact BartonWood to schedule a consultation and get the advice, support, and advocacy you need to move forward.