Utah Divorce Process

Who are the Parties?

In a divorce procedure, the Utah divorce process includes a Petitioner and Respondent.  The Petitioner is the spouse who initiates the divorce case. The Respondent is the other spouse who responds to the Petitioner’s divorce documents.  It is common to have a separate Utah divorce attorney represent the Petitioner and Respondent.

Who Prepares the Divorce Documents?

In Utah, the Petitioner prepares a divorce petition and other documents in order to file for divorce.  A Utah divorce attorney understand the Utah divorce process and typically prepares the required documents for both the Petitioner.

Where Do Divorce Documents Get Filed?

Once the divorce petition is prepared, the Petitioner and/or Utah divorce attorney files the divorce petition in the county where they Petitioner has lived for at least three months before filing for the divorce petition.

When Do I Serve the Divorce Petition?

After filing for divorce, the Petition only has 120 days to serve the Respondent the divorce petition.  Once the Petitioner serves the divorce petition, summons, and other documents on the Respondent, the Petitioner must also file a Proof of Service.

What Does the Respondent Do After Being Served?

Once the Utah divorce Petitioner serves the Respondent with the divorce petition, the Respondent has 20 days (if in Utah) or 30 days (if outside of Utah) to respond to the divorce petition.  A Utah divorce attorney who understands the Utah divorce process plays an important role by helping the Respondent respond appropriately to the Petition.

When Do the Petitioner and Respondent Disclose the Financial Declaration?

Once the Respondent files an answer the divorce petition, both parties must complete a Financial Declaration.

What is a Stipulation?

A stipulation is a written agreement between both parties when they agree to the petition and divorce decree.   A Utah divorce attorney who understands the Utah divorce process can help explain the advantages and disadvantages of stipulating or not agreeing with items delineated in the divorce petition and decree.

What if the Respondent Fails to File an Answer to the Divorce Petition?

At times, a Respondent may not answer the divorce petition.  In that event, the Petition may request a default judgment.  A Utah divorce lawyer can assist the Petitioner by helping prepare the divorce petition and also prepare the default judgment forms. The Petitioner can ask for a judgment reflecting terms outlined in the divorce decree.  In contrast, a Utah divorce lawyer can help the Respondent properly answer the divorce decree to avoid a default judgment.

How Long After a Petition is Filed Before a Decree Can Be Signed?

Barring a request to waive the waiting period due to extraordinary circumstances, the Utah law mandates a period of 90 days from the filing of the divorce petition to the signing of the divorce decree.

Must I Take a Divorce Education Class?

It depends.  If the parties have children under age 18, then Utah law requires the Petitioner and Respondent to attend divorce orientation and divorce education classes.  This class is helpful to the parties.  It is also recommended that the children take a divorce education class to help them through their parents’ divorce.

See Utah Child Support Lawyers Share  Six Ways to Collect  Child Support.

Must I Participate in Mediation?

Mediation is only mandatory if the Respondent and Petitioner are unable to resolve issues based on items in the divorce petition and answer.  Although either party may ask to waive mediation, it often is a cost-effective way to resolve conflict between the parties.  A Utah divorce attorney can play an important in encouraging mediation.

When are Temporary Orders Used?

A temporary order helps govern the parties while moving through the divorce.  Temporary orders are typically used with custody, child support, parental visits, and debt payments.

See Salt Lake City Utah Child Custody Attorney Update: Supreme Court of Utah Rules in Favor of Birth Father.

What Rules Govern the Divorce Procedural Steps in Utah?

The Utah Rules of Civil Procedure provide the procedural steps in divorce cases.  See Utah Rules of Civil Procedure.

Contact a Utah Divorce Lawyer

Contact a Utah divorce attorney at the law office of Pearson, Butler & Carson, PLLC who understands the Utah divorce process.  Our lawyer in Utah team can help answer questions and provide a free initial consultation.  Call our Pearson Butler office in Salt Lake City, South Jordan, or Layton at (801) 495-4104.