Uncontested Divorce in Utah
Making sense of the uncontested divorce process in Utah.
Divorce can be devastating; however, uncontested divorces are often less devastating to your finances and sanity than contested ones. Your divorce does not have to become a soap opera. Instead, Utah’s uncontested divorce process allows spouses to reach an agreement on their own and avoid the stress and anxiety associated with attending a trial before a judge.
The uncontested process can be relatively quick, and certainly less expensive than taking a divorce to trial. This article provides a general overview of the uncontested divorce process in Utah. If after reading this article, you still have questions about obtaining an uncontested divorce, contact a local family law attorney for advice.
Overview of Uncontested Divorces in Utah
Uncontested divorces are an option available to divorcing Utah couples with or without children. These types of divorces are generally less expensive and faster than traditional divorces because you avoid the expense of attorneys, custody evaluations and hiring experts for trial.
If you and your spouse are able to agree on all issues regarding your divorce, including child custody, visitation and support, then an uncontested divorce is a real option. For more information on calculating child support in Utah, click here. However, if you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on any issue in your divorce, then your divorce becomes contested and you will be required to attend a trial where a judge will decide the remaining issues in your divorce case.
The following is a list of some of the major issues that must be resolved between you and your spouse before filing an uncontested divorce action in Utah:
- division of real estate and personal property
- division of debts and assets
- child custody and visitation if you and your spouse have minor children
- child support, health and insurance coverage
- alimony or spousal support, and
- any other issues related to your marriage.
Beginning the Uncontested Divorce Process in Utah
To obtain an uncontested divorce in Utah you must meet the following criteria:
- you or your spouse have resided in Utah for at least 3 months, if minor children are involved, you must have resided in Utah for 6 months
- you and your spouse have agreed on all issues in your divorce, and
- child support and spousal support, custody and visitation are not requested, or there is a written agreement signed and notarized by both parties resolving those issues.
If you meet all of the above criteria, you may proceed with your uncontested divorce by filing the required forms set forth below. Utah Legal Services publishes an online Q&A on divorce for those trying to complete the divorce process on their own.
If you plan to file for divorce without the help of an attorney, you will be responsible for filing the right documents with the right court. Utah’s district courts oversee divorce cases and trials. Utah has approximately 70 judges serving in the state’s eight judicial districts.
Where you live will determine where you file for divorce because generally, you will file your divorce paperwork in the county in which you live. If you and your spouse have separated but still reside in Utah, either the county in which you lived, or where your spouse has lived for the last three months is proper to file your paperwork.
Preparing Divorce Forms
The Utah Courts site offers online forms for completing an uncontested divorce available here and or in hard copy at your local courthouse. The following documents must be filed with your divorce paperwork:
- Civil Coversheet
- Petition for Divorce
- Vital Statistics Form/Certificate of Dissolution
- Acceptance of Service
- Affidavit of Jurisdiction and Grounds
- Military Service Declaration and Order
- Findings of Facts and Conclusions of Law
- Decree of Divorce
If you and your spouse have children together under the age of 18, then the following forms must be filed as well:
- Child Support Worksheet
- Affidavit of Income and Compliance with Child Support Guidelines
- Financial Declarations, and
- Child Support Locator.
Completing Your Divorce
Utah has a mandatory 90-day waiting period to complete a divorce. Under extraordinary circumstances, the 90-day waiting period may be waived. However, before a divorce will be granted to parents of minor children, both spouses must complete the Divorce Education Course.
Utah does not require that you attend a court hearing before a judge will finalize your uncontested divorce. Instead, if all your paperwork is filed correctly and the judge finds that your agreement is reasonable and/or in the best interests of your children, then the judge will sign the Findings and Decree of Divorce. Note that the date the judge signs your Decree, is when your divorce becomes final.
If you have additional questions about obtaining an uncontested divorce in Utah, contact an experienced family law attorney for assistance.
For more information on uncontested divorces in Utah and to read the complete statute, see Utah Code, Title 30, Chapter 3.