State Laws

Utah Divorce


Utah Divorce Details
In order to file for a divorce in a particular state you need to be an official resident. The requirements for residency vary from state to state. In Utah the amount of time to become a resident is three months.

Utah divorce laws allow for a no-fault divorce when both sides agree that the marriage is broken and can't be fixed or if the husband and wife have been living apart from each other for up to three years. If you file for a contested divorce, meaning the other spouse doesn't agree to the idea, then you will be named the petitioner.

The other side is referred to as the respondent. In order to be granted a divorce decree in Utah the petitioner needs to prove that they have grounds for divorce.

Grounds for Divorce in Utah
One of the most common grounds for divorce in Utah is when it can be proven that the respondent has committed adultery. Other grounds can be impotency, desertion for at least one year, or neglecting to provide financial support. A petitioner can also claim that the respondent has committed ongoing cruelty, substance abuse, has been a convicted felon or has been found to be mentally incompetent. The burden of proof on any of those claims is with the petitioner.

Divorce Mediation and Education Courses
A Utah divorce judge can require mandatory attendance for mediation or divorce education in any case brought before them. Mediation is called for in an effort to have the parties settle any distribution of property disputes. If an agreement can't be reached through mediation then the judge will make the final decision as to who gets what.

For parents filing for divorce that have children, the judge can also require that they attend a divorce education class. These classes are designed to help the parties make the transition from marriage to divorce as it pertains to the welfare of the children. A judge won't grant the divorce degree until the classes are completed.

Utah Alimony Laws
Either side of the marriage can be awarded alimony if the court so decides. The judge will take into account the reasons why the divorce happened in the first place. They will also consider what the alimony recipient might need to maintain their lifestyle versus how much the paying spouse can afford.

In addition, the judge will factor in how long the marriage lasted and if the spouses worked together in a business or if there will be child support issues. Also, if one spouse paid for the other spouse's education or training, that can be factored in to the alimony payments as well.

Utah Child Custody Laws
Among the issues that a judge uses to determine child custody in a Utah divorce case are what would be the best interested of the child in terms of sole or joint custody. They will decide this based upon interviews with the children and the location of the potential dual residencies.

The judge will also take into account the relationship between the parents. Can they prove that they will they be civil to each other especially in front of the children? Were there any instances of abuse? And who was the primary caregiver of the children? When all of those concerns have been addressed, the judge will make a final ruling at a hearing.

See also:
Utah Felony Laws
Utah Gun Laws
Utah Bankruptcy Laws
Utah Misdemeanor Classifications External link (opens in new window)
Utah Expungement External link (opens in new window)