Clyde Snow

The Guide to Getting Divorced in Utah – Grounds, Process & Key Steps

by | Aug 28, 2023

You have uttered the four words you hope never to say in your relationship: “I want a divorce.” Getting a divorce can be emotionally draining, scary, and frustrating. But with an attorney’s support, filing for divorce can be much easier and less intimidating. At Clyde Snow, we are here to help you every step of the way. But before filing, let us help you understand the process of getting a divorce in Utah.

Grounds to File for Divorce in Utah.

In Utah, we have ten different grounds for divorce, they are: 

  1. Impotency
  2. Adultery
  3. Willful desertion
  4. Willful neglect
  5. Habitual drunkenness
  6. Conviction of felony
  7. Abuse
  8. Irreconcilable differences
  9. Incurable insanity
  10. Separation without cohabitation for three consecutive years

The various grounds for divorce are considered either at-fault or no-fault. A no-fault divorce means you are dissolving the marriage and are not required to provide evidence of the other party’s wrongdoing. If you file an at-fault divorce, you must provide proof of the other party’s wrongdoing. Depending on the grounds, some at-fault divorces may be easier to provide evidence than others. Irreconcilable differences or a three-year separation are the only grounds considered no-fault. Whether or not you should file at-fault or no-fault would be best discussed with your attorney.

Once the grounds for divorce are determined, the filing process may begin.

The divorce filing process may vary based on whether you and your partner can agree on multiple things.

  • Are you both willing to divorce?
  • Can you agree on the terms of the divorce?
  • Can you agree to a custody agreement if children are involved?

If so, your process for filing a divorce in Utah will be reasonably simple. If you cannot agree or one party does not want to divorce, the process will take longer to complete.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce means you and your spouse can agree on all aspects and terms of your divorce. If you can come to an agreement, both parties will enter into a Stipulation. After 30 days, you may then file the remaining paperwork. These may vary based on if children are involved. A judge will then review all documents and will sign a Divorce Decree. Upon that signing, you are then officially considered divorced. For more information, you may utilize the Utah online court assistance program.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce means you and your spouse cannot agree to the terms of your divorce. These disagreements may vary from division of property, child support, alimony, debts, living arrangements for minor children, or other asset division. When contested, filing for a divorce in Utah is more complicated and may be difficult.

Once you file the Petition to Divorce, several other documents must be filed after service to the Respondent. These may include Respondent’s Answer, Financial Disclosures, and Initial Disclosures. The time for a contested divorce may vary and could ultimately end in Mediation or Trial depending on all parties’ cooperation and agreement to terms. We recommend that any of our Family Law attorneys assist you in a contested divorce. Our attorneys are very experienced in the Utah divorce process and will be able to support you during this challenging life event.

Collaborative Divorce

Although getting a divorce is rarely easy, it can be a smoother process when both parties negotiate and communicate efficiently. This approach would be considered a Collaborative Divorce. Rather than focusing on each party’s rights and obligations under the law, settlement is negotiated based on the interests and needs of the couple and their children. The essence of Collaborative Divorce is to offer spouses or partners the support, protection, and guidance of their attorneys, who are committed to staying out of court.

If divorce is in your future, we encourage you to review your options and choose the best possible outcome for you and your family. As a Utah law firm, our divorce attorneys are committed to making this often-scary life event easy for you and everyone involved. Give us a call today to discuss all your options. (801)322-2516

Key Takeaways

  • There are ten grounds for divorce in Utah, including irreconcilable differences, 3-year separation, adultery, abuse, etc. Some are considered “at-fault,” while others, like irreconcilable differences, are “no-fault.”
  • The divorce process can be either uncontested (if you agree on everything) or contested (if you disagree on terms). Uncontested is simpler.
  • For an uncontested divorce, you both sign a stipulation and file paperwork after 30 days. A judge reviews the documents and signs a decree.
  • Contested divorce involves filing more documents like financial disclosures and may require mediation or trial to resolve disagreements.
  • Collaborative divorce involves both parties negotiating a settlement based on interests and needs, with attorney guidance, rather than fighting in court.
  • It’s best to consult an attorney to guide you through the divorce process, handle paperwork, and represent your interests. They can advise on the best options for your situation.
  • Key things to agree on include property division, child custody/support if applicable, alimony, and debt allocation.
  • Getting divorced can be emotional, but good legal advice can make the process smoother.

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