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Utah Divorce Frequently Asked Questions

At Smoak Law, P.C., our divorce lawyer in Salt Lake City knows the first step to pursuing a successful divorce is having access to the knowledge and resources necessary to move forward with confidence.

With so many questions surrounding divorce in Salt Lake City and throughout Utah, our experienced attorney strives to provide access to the answers to each of our client’s questions, beginning with some of the most frequently asked questions regarding divorce.

Let’s get started.

What Are Grounds for Divorce in Salt Lake City, Utah?

The legal grounds for divorce in Utah are much different than surrounding states. While making the definitive decision to divorce is a difficult one, understanding the grounds to file may be equally as confusing.

The statutory grounds for divorce in Utah include:

  • Adultery
  • Conviction of a felony
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Impotency at the time of marriage
  • Irreconcilable differences
  • Mental or physical cruelty
  • Permanent and incurable insanity established by competent medical testimony
  • Spouses who have lived under a separate maintenance decree for three or more consecutive years
  • Willful desertion of the other spouse for more than one year
  • Willful neglect to provide the common necessities of life

What is the Waiting Period for Divorce in Utah? 

The State of Utah and its divorce laws state that there must be 30 days between the date the divorce petition is filed and the date in which the final divorce decree is signed.

Under extraordinary circumstances, one party may ask the court to waive the mandatory waiting period to expedite the divorce. Talk to our Salt Lake City divorce attorney to learn more about the qualifying circumstances, and if your case is eligible to waive the waiting period.

What Are the Residency Requirements for Filing for Divorce in Utah?

The Utah residency requirements for divorce state that both spouses must reside in a single county inside the state for at least three months before filing for divorce. If the spouses share a minor child or children, the child(ren) must reside with at least one parent for at least six months.

Like most Utah divorce petition requirements, there are exceptions to each rule that can be navigated with the help of an experienced divorce lawyer in Salt Lake City.

What Details Are Determined During a Utah Divorce?

Ending a marriage requires both spouses to make significant decisions regarding the details of their future.

Divorce agreements must resolve several issues, including:

  • Division of debt, assets, and property
  • Spousal support, when applicable
  • Parenting plans, child custody, and child support, when the spouses share minor children

Each divorce is unique, and the details therein will be equally distinct. Our skilled Salt Lake City divorce attorney provides the resources each of our clients need to pursue the results they deserve using a customized approach.

Are My Utah Divorce Records Private or Public?

While most court records are public, in the State of Utah, divorce records are not.

Since 2012, only the spouses, their attorneys, and a select few court members have access to divorce files and can copy them for their records. But they are no longer available for public review.

However, some details — including filing a motion to waive the mandatory waiting period — may be made public, if it is not deemed private by the filer. If you wish to keep each aspect of your divorce from public view, you must identify the document as private before it is filed.

What Is a Domestic Relations Injunction in Utah?

A Domestic Relations Injunction is automatically issued when a divorce petition is filed in the State of Utah.

The DRI is a court order, which states both parties are:

  • Not to harass one another
  • Not to change insurance of beneficiary coverage
  • Not to transfer property
  • Not to make non-routine travel with the minor children while the case is pending

There are many details included in the Domestic Relations Injunction, and both spouses will be responsible for understanding each factor and abiding by the court order during the divorce proceedings.

What If My Spouse Does Not Respond to My Utah Divorce Petition? 

If you have filed a divorce petition in Utah, and your spouse does not respond within the time allotted on the paperwork, you may request a default judgment be entered by the court.

When the default judgment is granted, it means the filer gets what he or she asked for, and the respondent will not have the chance to defend their position.

What Are the Mandatory Requirements During Utah Divorce Proceedings?

When the respondent delivers an answer to the filing spouse’s divorce petition, the court requires both parties to attend at least one mediation session if there are contested issues pending. This is designed as an effort to resolve the issues through mediation, which will allow the case to move forward.

If the divorce is uncontested, either party may ask the court to waive the mediation requirement.

When both spouses can agree on the terms of their divorce — with or without mediation — the documents can be prepared for final approval.

If the spouses share minor children, they must attend both of the following mandatory courses before the divorce will be granted:

  • Divorce orientation class
  • Divorce education class

Although not mandatory, there is a Divorce Education Class for Children, which can help with the transition.

Can I Change My Name Back After a Utah Divorce? 

If you choose to resume the use of your previous legal name, you must include a statement saying so in both the petition and decree stating that your name will be changed upon the finalization of the divorce.

How Can Smoak Law, P.C. Help with My Utah Divorce? 

At Smoak Law, P.C., our Salt Lake County divorce attorney will outline the details of your unique divorce circumstances to ensure each aspect is included in our petition, which will allow you to face the divorce proceedings with confidence.

If you are considering filing for divorce in Utah, there are many factors involved in getting it right the first time, so there is no delay in starting your new life. Contact our Salt Lake City family law lawyer at Smoak Law, P.C. today by calling (801) 535-4311 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.