Experienced Family Law Attorneys in Salt Lake City, Utah
At Utah’s Lawyers, our Salt Lake City family lawyers know when your household experiences significant changes, the personal challenges that come with the shifting dynamics can seem insurmountable. If you are pursuing a divorce with no children, share minor children with your spouse, or are trying to modify an existing Utah family court order, we can help you understand your legal rights and options, so you can make informed decisions about how your case proceeds, inside and outside the courtroom.
Whether it is divorce, child custody, or financial matters associated with your marital dissolution, we know your family comes first. Our Salt Lake County family law attorneys are dedicated to producing real-time solutions by collaborating with our clients to identify case goals based on their unique family needs, and develop strategies to achieve individual goals, so they can move forward with confidence.
Is Utah a No-Fault Divorce State?
In 1987, Utah passed a law that allows divorce when there are “irreconcilable differences.” Under this law, one spouse does not have to prove the other caused their marriage dissolution to file for divorce. This is called a “no fault” divorce provision.
What are the Utah Divorce Requirements?
Even though Utah is a no-fault divorce state, several requirements must be met before the dissolution can be finalized.
- A divorce action must be brought in the Utah county where either spouse has been a resident for at least three months before filing.
- A divorce cannot occur until at least ninety days have passed from the date of the filing of the action. The waiting period may be waived by the court if the spouses share minor children and both parties attend the required Divorce Parenting Education Class.
The divorce is final when the judge signs the decree, and it is filed by the clerk without any further action by the parties or by the court.
Can One Spouse Prevent the Other from Getting a Divorce in Utah?
The short answer is, no. One spouse cannot prevent the other from getting a divorce. If one spouse would like to contest the terms of the divorce — including property distribution, child custody, or other financial matters involving assets and debts — they can do so by allowing their attorneys to negotiate the terms privately.
If the spouses cannot agree to the terms of their Utah divorce in private, they will be required to participate in at least one mediation to attempt to resolve the issues in dispute before the case can move forward in the court system, unless they are excused from the mediation requirement for good cause. If the divorce terms are still being contested, our Salt Lake City divorce attorneys will aggressively pursue the best outcome during litigation inside the courtroom.
Contesting a divorce is very different than keeping it from happening. It simply extends the process until the terms of the agreement are finalized.
Can Spouses Share a Utah Divorce Attorney?
No. A Utah divorce lawyer can represent only one party. That attorney may not meet with or represent two parties who may have conflicting interests. Both spouses should be represented by their own counsel to ensure their legal rights are protected from the start.
Am I Entitled to Alimony After a Utah Divorce?
In a Utah divorce, alimony is gender neutral, which means either spouse may request financial support from the other after the marriage has been dissolved. If one spouse has a greater income-earning capacity than the other, he or she will probably be ordered by the court to pay spousal support.
Multiple factors will determine the amount and length of spousal support payments in Utah. Our skilled Salt Lake City divorce lawyers can help you understand what type of alimony you may be entitled to, so you can begin building your new life without financial strain.
How Can Spouses Determine Who Gets Custody of the Children After a Utah Divorce?
When spouses with minor children get divorced in Utah, they must determine who gets primary legal and physical custody of the children, and who will have visitation rights.
Legal custody refers to one or both parents’ ability to make decisions about important factors in their children’s lives, including religious upbringing, medical care, and education.
Physical custody determines where the children will live, and how they will split their time with the other parent.
When joint physical or legal custody is sought or awarded the parties are required to present to the court a detailed parenting plan outlining the specific plans for the children, where they will live, how they split their time, and how any future disputes will be resolved, so the children’s best interests are always first. They must also attend a mandatory Divorce Parenting Education Class.
Since child custody is part of the divorce proceedings, the details may be determined as part of the final decree. If the parents cannot determine these details on their own or through their attorneys, they will be required to attend mediation before the dispute can be litigated inside the courtroom.
The Utah family courts will always view these cases from the standpoint of the children’s best interests, which includes both parents being involved in their upbringing going forward. If there are legitimate reasons you do not want your spouse to share custody of your children — including drug or alcohol use, neglect, or abuse — you should be prepared to discuss the specific details with your divorce attorney, and plan to provide evidence that supports your concerns.
Once child custody is determined, the child support amount will be calculated using the Utah statutory guidelines. Our skilled divorce attorneys in Salt Lake City can help you determine the overall amount you will pay or receive, depending on which side of the custody share you are on.
Partner with a Salt Lake City Family Law Attorney You Can Trust
Going through a Utah divorce can be grueling without proper legal representation. At Utah’s Lawyers, our divorce lawyers in Salt Lake City take the time to understand each of your marriage’s nuances, your reasons for getting divorced, and how you would like your new life to unfold — then we get to work on a customized legal strategy to help obtain your goals.
We will also help you understand how our Utah divorce, property division, child custody, and financial support statutes align with your vision, so you can make informed decisions about your end-to-end case from the beginning.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your family’s legal concerns and challenges by calling (801) 316-0245.