Utah Divorce & Separation
UPDATED: February 27, 2020
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Getting a legal separation or divorce is a common occurrence these days in every state, but you may not realize that the laws and rules that govern the process can differ significantly depending on where you live. It’s important to get an understanding of the divorce laws in your state. What are the requirements for getting a divorce in Utah? Is mediation a requirement before you can get a Utah divorce? What is the law on Utah annulments? Find the answers to your Utah divorce questions here.
Utah Legal Separation:
Legal separations are allowed in Utah and granted on the same grounds as divorces (see “Grounds for Divorce” below). They are granted in many circumstances where the court finds that the marriage should be maintained, but that separate living arrangements are necessary. A decree of “separate maintenance” may be issued by the court, and after three years under such a decree, if there is no chance for reconciliation and the parties do not live together at all during those three years, a divorce may be granted.
Grounds for Divorce/Fault – No Fault:
Utah has both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. For no-fault divorces, “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” is the standard that the parties must meet to show grounds. Fault-based divorces require considerably more specific grounds, such as felony convictions after the marriage commences, impotence at the time the marriage commenced, incurable insanity, willful desertion or neglect to provide the petitioner with common necessaries of life, cruel treatment and/or violence, and adultery.
Residency/Where to File for Divorce:
To file for divorce, either party must be a resident of Utah at the time of filing, and in the county where the action is brought. The petition must be filed in the local court with jurisdiction over the county in which either party resides.
Utah Divorce/Child Support/Child Custody Lawyers:
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Divorce Mediation in Utah:
For marriages with children, the court has the right to order a parental education course for the parties, which would likely involve the services of a well-trained, court-appointed mediator. A mediation session might also be called for if there are issues that could be resolved and agreed upon amicably through a conference rather than forcing the parties, the children, and the court system to suffer through unnecessary litigation.
An annulment is a court declaration that your marriage is legally invalid. In other words, rather than ending a marriage via divorce, an annulment is a declaration that the marriage was never valid to begin with, for reasons including: underage, fraud, incompetence to consent, consanguinity, previous marriage being un-dissolved, and same sex.
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